Tina Hopkins served with the United States Air Force (USAF) for five and a half years as a public affairs officer. Although she didn’t follow her brother into the Navy, he helped her make the decision to join the USAF, where she developed some valuable, transferable skills and enjoyed several life-changing experiences.
Each of her assignments was memorable in unique ways, however one of the most memorable accomplishments is when she deployed to Afghanistan to support a small USAF contingent of A-10s.
Tina was one of the first USAF public affairs officers at Bagram Air Base in 2002. Not only did she support the joint military mission in Afghanistan, she also covered the civil affairs mission, which built relationships in the community, provided food and provisions to displaced Afghanis, and provided medical care. She was privileged to have been able to cover some of the amazing work in the combat-zone early in the war.
Two of the most influential mentors in the USAF were Senior Master Sergeants Reb Dowers and Jeff Bohn. The two senior non-commissioned officers taught Tina how to be direct, how to make brave decisions, and how to stay connected with the team to be successful. They both taught her how to lead by example and not ask others to do things that she wouldn’t do herself.
Transitioning in the private sector was both exciting and rewarding. Tina found that the USAF ingrained many qualities that have helped her succeed over the past 11 years. A strong work ethic and dedication are foundational to Tina’s daily success, but she has found that she is only as strong as her team makes her.
Being successful has many components that include collaboration, integrity, feedback, open two-way dialogue, and brave decisions. Without these values, the team cannot succeed. DRT has professionals that share similar values and work collectively toward each other’s success. The culture encourages collaboration and fosters a strong sense of teamwork and commitment from top down.