Why I Stay: Master Sgt. Clint Gessler Published Aug. 30, 2023 By Joe Gangemi Air Education and Training Command JOINT BASE SAN ANTIONO-RANDOLPH, Texas-- Master Sgt. Clint Gessler has always had a deep passion for aviation. Gessler earned his private pilot license at age 17 and worked with the local Fixed Base Operator prior to his enlistment. Gessler, who is the flight safety non-commissioned officer in charge at Headquarters, Air Education and Training Command, joined the U.S. Air Force at 22 after his father’s untimely passing in 2007. This life-changing event was the catalyst for Gessler to seek a life outside of his small town in Wisconsin to see the world and be part of something bigger. “I loved aviation, loved airplanes, and attempted going to a technical school for architecture but my heart wasn’t in it,” Gessler said. “I figured the fastest way to an aviation job where I belonged was the Air Force.” He enlisted into the Air Force as a Tactical Aircraft Maintenance technician on the F-16 Fighting Falcon. “I got F-16s, which was my favorite jet,” said Gessler. “A passion for airplanes brought me to the Air Force, and I've been rewarded with amazing experiences.’’ It wasn’t until he was stationed in Japan at Misawa Air Force Base that he received news that would change his life forever. “My daughter, who was two years old at the time, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and needed immediate specialized care,” Gessler said. “The Air Force was able to transport her back stateside to a treatment facility. The Air Force went above and beyond, flying us back to the States and providing exceptional healthcare. It's these moments of compassion and care that make me grateful for my service." For more AETC Why- I-Stay testimonials, please visit http://www.aetc.af.mil/Home/Why-I-Stay.