Warrior of the Week: Tech. Sgt. James Queen

Tech. Sgt. James Queen, 319th Operations Support Squadron aerospace ground equipment flight chief, cleans out a load bank for a semi-annual inspection on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Nov. 23, 2015. The Clarksburg, West Virginia, native was named Warrior of the Week for the fourth week in November. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Xavier Navarro/Released)

Tech. Sgt. James Queen, 319th Operations Support Squadron aerospace ground equipment flight chief, cleans out a load bank for a semi-annual inspection on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Nov. 23, 2015. The Clarksburg, West Virginia, native was named Warrior of the Week for the fourth week in November. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Xavier Navarro/Released)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

Name: Tech. Sgt. James Queen

Unit: 319th Operations Support Squadron

Duty title: Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight Chief

Time in service: 14 years and 10 months

Time on station: 1 year and 3 months

Hometown: Clarksburg, West Virginia

Why is serving in the Air Force important to you?
Serving in the Air Force started as a way to better my life.  When the events of Sept. 11, 2001, occurred that gave me a new purpose and drive to serve my country than when I originally entered. This made me realize that I am part of something bigger than myself. 

What moment or accomplishment as a Warrior of the North are you most proud of and why? 
When I arrived at Grand Forks Air Force Base, there was no one in my shop due to manning cuts and force shaping.  I was able to revamp the majority of our programs and was able to elevate the assigned aerospace ground equipment to 100 percent mission-capable status.  We now have three personnel assigned and the shop is running smoothly. We are able to provide support to all transient aircraft in conjunction with our outstanding transient alert counterparts.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is and always has been spinning wrenches on our equipment and ensuring successful launch and recovery of aircraft.  I also get satisfaction out of training my replacements and seeing the light bulb glow when a subordinate learns something new. I like to see them practice what they've learned.

Who or what inspires you and why?
I've been fortunate to have some great leaders and mentors throughout my career.  I won't name them all, but they have inspired me and taught me many things throughout my career and have helped shape me into who I am today.  They kicked my butt when I needed it, but were always there for me.  My mother also inspires me.  She worked extremely hard to raise me the best she could on very little income and taught me to work for and appreciate what I have.  My wife Tisha also inspires me.  She is my rock, my best friend, and inspires me to be better for her and our son each day. 

What's the first thing that made you think Grand Forks Air Force Base was a cool place other than the temperature or weather?
I think the history of the base makes it unique.  The past missions and assigned aircraft are something that I would have liked to have been a part of.  I definitely respect all those who came before me working on the flightline in the extreme temperatures here.

Do you have any military service or anyone close to you? If so when and where did they serve?
My great uncle joined in the Air Force in 1947. Two of my grandfathers served in the Army and my stepfather served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. My father-in-law also served in the Army special forces during Vietnam.