Wright-Patt spotlight

Name and rank: Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin G. Seekell

Units of assignment: Air Force Life Cycle Management Center

What’s your job like every day? The only thing that I can count on for an absolute certainty any given day is that I have no idea what the day may hold. In fact, every time I think I have the day pegged, my good friend Murphy shows up to remind me that I still have much more to learn. I think we all do our best to strategically plan out our days, but as Prussian Gen. Carl von Clausewitz famously stated, “No plan ever survives first contact.”

Each day is a combination of victory, defeat, uncertainty and stalemate as we attempt to maintain a cohesive balance between our mission requirements and the very real people that make those missions possible. One day, we’re helping a family navigate a tragic passing; the next, we’re guiding an Airman through their first permanent change of station overseas and teaching them what to expect. This all boils down to helping our Airmen, both personally and professionally.

Much of what we do is steeped in adversity, and I suppose that might be off-putting to some, but it’s all about perspective. Adversity breeds opportunity, and every day, there is an opportunity to impact someone’s life for the better.

Do you have a mentoring or career tip for Airmen, including those who’d like to be a “first shirt” someday?

Become a master of your craft. It is upon this foundation that everything else in your career will be built. Become dedicated to being the best possible version of yourself every single day when you put on that uniform.

Some of the greatest icons in sports and business didn’t just decide to become great halfway through their careers — they started at the beginning. Start now, don’t wait! Develop the habit of doing more than what you’re paid for and begin setting standards for yourself that others will be measured by in the future.

As first sergeants, we go not where the path may lead, but go where there is no path and leave a trail. Follow us, we’ll get there together!

What’s your favorite part of being a first sergeant and why?

Bringing peace to the chaos. It’s often that our Airmen come to us for solutions when most other measures have failed or when the situation is so sensitive that they don’t know who else to turn to. This is a sacred trust and one that I hold most sincere.

They come to us because they believe that we can help, sometimes in one of their most vulnerable moments. Earning that trust and having the opportunity to help people as best I can is what I love about this job.

A common complaint we often hear is that many do not see the impact or importance of what they do. I see it every day when I see my Airmen and their families thriving, knowing that I had a small part to play in that success.

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