“The recruiter I met with told me joining the Air Force would be one of the hardest things I’d ever do in my life. I wanted that challenge … and I got it.”
Bouncing around from job to job in the small town of Port Charlotte, Fla., Belinda Goody found herself bored, unchallenged and tired of never getting ahead, professionally.
So once Belinda made the decision to join the Military to seek out more opportunities, a friend helped her make the decision to join the Air Force.
As a current member of the Air Force, Belinda’s friend informed her of the many career fields she would have available to her.
“The skills I learned in the Air Force have allowed me to operate my own business in the field I love.”
Belinda’s military career began in 1990 when she enlisted in the Air Force as an active-duty member. For the first five years, Belinda was a weather specialist. Following those five years, Belinda retrained in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps as a paralegal.
Continuing her dedication to military service after 10 years on active duty, Belinda immediately re-entered the Air Force in a Reserve capacity, as a paralegal, and is currently assigned to Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
As a civilian, Belinda is self-employed as a forensic meteorologist near Boulder, Colo. She is also a notary public for the state of Colorado.
“As a reservist, you are expected to do the same job and maintain the same skills and proficiency as an active-duty member.”
With experience as an active-duty member of the Military and now a reservist, Belinda has learned that in her current role she needs to be patient and flexible.
Belinda needs to be patient because she can be deployed at any time. Belinda needs to be flexible because when she is called upon, she is expected to step right in and support her unit, making sure any and every mission is accomplished seamlessly.
“If you are dedicated to yourself and your dreams, you will succeed.”
According to Belinda, most of her success is attributed to her commitment to education. In fact, Belinda highly recommends that all Service personnel take advantage of tuition assistance and every other military educational benefit available.
Through the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Belinda was able to achieve an associate degree in both weather technology and paralegal studies. With the Montgomery GI Bill, Belinda was able to complete her bachelor’s degree in business/marketing and is now working on her second bachelor’s degree in geoscience/meteorology.
With success in the Military and as a civilian, Belinda has certainly come a long way from her days of working “dead-end jobs.”
Belinda’s Military Career Timeline
- July 1990: Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas (advanced to Airman and then advanced to Airman first class)
- January 1991: Weather journeyman, lead weather observer, 7th Weather Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.
- Military Airlift Command Headquarters, Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois (advanced to senior airman)
- January 1992: Weather specialist, Garrison and Tactical Divisions, 25th Air Support Operations Squadron, Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu
- December 1995: Paralegal, 12th Flying Training Wing, claims examiner, assistant non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC), civil law clerk and military justice clerk (advanced to staff sergeant)
- March 1998: Paralegal, HQ 11th Wing, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., NCOIC Claims, NCOIC Civil Law/Discharge Program and (simultaneously), NCOIC Military Justice and NCOIC United States Air Force Secretary of the Air Force Prison Program
- July 2000: Reserve paralegal, 21st Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.
- November 2001: Reserve paralegal attached to 460th Space Wing, Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. (advanced to technical sergeant)