Warrior of the Week: First Lt. Jessica Swaim
By Staff Sgt. Susan L. Davis, 319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2015
GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Name and Rank: 1st Lt. Jessica Swaim
Unit: 319th Medical Support Squadron
Duty title: Resource Management Office & Systems Flight commander
Time in service: 6 years
Time on station: 3 years
Hometown: LaBolt, S.D.
Why is serving in the Air Force important to you?
I joined the Air Force because I wanted to take care of people, but in a hands-off sort of way. Health care administration was a perfect fit for me and I thought the military offered a meaningful way to take care of those who serve our nation. I was told I didn't have the right degree to commission by my recruiters, so I decided to enlist because I really wanted to do it. Once I was in, I found out my degree did qualify, so after a couple years I decided to apply to commission and here I am. I chose the military because I have known a lot of people who have served and I thought this would be a way to give back in response to all of those who have helped me along the way.
What moment or accomplishment as a Warrior of the North are you most proud of and why?
This past month watching my three-person systems team preparing to move 150 members has been very rewarding. In the past week, they touched nearly every computer in the medical group, worked long hours, and ensured patient care was up and running when we said it would. In addition, I saw a lot of other members in the medical group stepping up to help knowing how short-manned we are for such a massive event.
What is your favorite part of your job?
There is always something new that comes up. Most days are quite busy, and I have really great people working in my flights who keep me afloat and informed.
How do you apply the wing commander's principles of 'passion, proficiency and professionalism?
My goal is to know my job and make sure I am providing sound references when briefing leadership. I enjoy coming to work each day and I have fun doing it, which makes it easy to be passionate about what I do.
Who or what inspires you and why?
My children inspire me to smile every day and enjoy the little miracles of life. I am inspired by two quotes, one from Gandhi that says, "Be the change you want to see in the world." The other quote is from Mother Theresa and is rather long, but the main point is, "Do it anyway." I try to approach life with the outlook of doing what is right and good because it is right and good and not get caught up in the idea of "me vs. them."
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 called my parents as soon as I received my notification to find out where Grand Forks was in relation to them. I didn't even realize there was a base here and I couldn't have gotten any closer to home.
Do you have any family members in military service or anyone close to you that has served? If so when and where did they serve?
My husband served 23 years and retired the day before I commissioned. My grandfather was a tank driver in the Army during World War II and lost his right leg. Two older brothers served, one in the Army and one in the Navy.