10/17/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/17/2017 14:23
As a contracting officer, the amount of contracts written and reviewed can be staggering. For a current Tyndall squadron commander, it all started with an incredibly life altering contract, the one to join the Air Force.
Maj. Steven Fletcher, 325th Contracting Squadron commander, knew early on what military life entailed. The major's father served in the Virginia National Guard and his grandfather served in the U.S. Navy.
'My grandfather spent 30 years in the Navy and another 20 years in civil service,' Fletcher said. 'He joined young and served in World War II. He was a hard worker, a great craftsman, a true role model and inspiration to me.'
Growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, near Norfolk Naval Station, the largest naval complex in the world, Fletcher was no stranger to military communities. It wasn't by luck that he ended up at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.
'I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, but I didn't know I was going to join until after the events of 9/11,' he said. 'I was a sophomore in college at the time, and I signed my contract to join shortly after the events unfolded.'
It was during his time in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps that he got his first taste of Tyndall.
'My first time at Tyndall was in 2002,' Fletcher said. 'As an ROTC cadet, I completed my field training here at Tyndall during the summer between my sophomore and junior year. So, I have circled back to Tyndall - from ROTC cadet, to commander.'
Fletcher received his commission in 2004 through the ROTC program at The Citadel.
Throughout his time in the Air Force, Fletcher has been to four bases and deployed three times. At each stop, he picked up valuable experiences and knowledge, but more importantly, he built a network of friends and mentors.
'I have had some very good leaders who have taken me under their wing, through mentorship, shared lessons learned and experiences,' Fletcher said. 'I had to thank everyone who got me here because it was a whole network of people. It wasn't just me, and the day I was notified I would be taking command, I called each one of them to personally thank them.
'If it were not for those mentors, and my wife being the cornerstone of my life and my family's support, I wouldn't be where I am today,' he added.
As commander of the 325th CONS, one of Fletcher's main goals is to take all the support he has received and pay it forward.
'Part of my job as a commander is to develop future leaders, and I take that very seriously,' he said. 'It's my responsibility to take a vested interest in them, what they do here, how they contribute to the mission as well as their families, their interests and hobbies. Contracting is a tight-knit community and here at 325th CONS, we are a family.'
As he leads the squadron into the future, Fletcher plans to pass on the experience he has gained and key pieces that have helped him develop, to all of his Airmen.
'Take care of your Airmen and take care of the mission,' he said. 'Challenge yourself, and improve yourself, because what got you where you are now won't necessarily get you to your next goal.'