An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Keesler | P2B pairs cadets with an assortment of careers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kimberly Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- Second Air Force hosted Pathways to Blues (P2B) at Keesler Air Force Base, March 31 and April 1.

A total of 178 cadets ranging from freshmen to seniors came from Auburn University, Jackson State University, The University of Alabama, Samford University, University of South Alabama, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of West Florida, Troy University, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Houston, Houston Community College System, Lone Star College System, Texas Southern University, Mississippi State University, and Texas A&M University for the opportunity to gain insight into potential future Air and Space Force career options.

For the vast majority of the cadets, it was the first time they had been on an Air Force installation. During the two-day event, cadets toured facilities across the base, experienced various simulators, viewed aircraft static displays and flew in C-130 Hercules and TH-1 Helicopter. They also received one-on-one mentorship with officers representing 39 career fields, offering different perspectives on commissioned life in the Air Force.

“You can read all you want about what it is like to be in the Air Force, but you need that human element to understand,” said Capt. William Glaser, Second Air Force commander’s support staff section commander. “This year, we were able to bring together a wide variety of career fields and ranks to discuss any questions the cadets may have.”

Cadets were provided information on their career field interests, such as daily operations, how to qualify and the best ways to prepare.

The experience kicked off with an introduction to the mentors before diving into hands-on demonstrations with career fields ranging from space operations and bomber combat systems to remotely piloted aircraft pilot, special warfare, nuclear and missile operations, cyber operations and various medical specialties.

Representation for the career fields was brought together from the 81st Training Wing, 82d Training Wing, 17th Training Wing, 37th Training Wing, Special Warfare Training Wing, 403rd Wing, 1st Special Operations Wing, 24th Special Operations Wing, 85th Engineering Installation Squadron, Air Force Research Laboratory with officer mentors from Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Second Air Force, Air University, 19th Air Force and the United States Space Force.

“I jumped on the opportunity to come here and learn more about what I could be doing now and what I might be doing in the future,” said Kayla Simpson, Troy University ROTC cadet. “My favorite part was seeing the airfield and runway; the loud craziness that’s still so organized, where they work together to make it run smoothly.”

The delivery of a holistic view of the Air Force and its opportunities shown during Pathways to Blue gives cadets from different backgrounds the chance to learn how they can leverage their different skills to support the total force.

“This is such a critical and exciting time in our Air Force as we are transforming and adapting our force for the future fight. These cadets are our future, and we need all of their diverse talents and expertise,” said Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, Second Air Force commander. “I was honored to spend some time with the cadets during the event and I’m excited for what they will bring to our force.”