Have dreams, will to graduate; Chabelley Airman Masters Africa

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ericka A. Woolever
  • 435th Air Expeditionary Wing

“I’d love to say getting this degree was a walk in the park,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Audrey Hunter, 776th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron commanders executive. “In the beginning I was rolling through it. Then two permanent changes of stations happened, and COVID.”

Hunter, a South Carolina native with 13 years in service, who has a natural love for learning, always knew she wanted to achieve her master’s degree. Little did she know she would face a whole new challenge set. 

“I was literally all over the place, I couldn’t focus on anything, let alone sitting still long enough to study, then this deployment came along,” said Hunter. “You already know I used this as an excuse to get out of school.” 

However, soon after her arrival in East Africa, Hunter quickly realized how she could use an austere environment to her benefit. 

“Once I got here it was great,” said Hunter. “I was able to decompress, have some me time, kind of just get my life together. I knew I was too close to the end to call it quits for good, so I readjusted, had my goals in sight, and I shot!”

With limited resources in East Africa, Airmen often have to refine how they operate in order to succeed. They face life constraints each day from internet challenges, designated study space, to long work hours. Even making daily decisions becomes a challenge from deciding when to eat, or if an extra hour should be used to sleep or study; each decision must be thought out.

Airmen must leverage their collective experience and expertise to improve how they operate with who they are and what they have. 

The ability for an Airman to understand themselves and know when to ask for a life line is also part of making it to the finish line.  

“I know I’m a procrastinator and I understand when it’s time to call for assistance,” said Hunter. “I had two accountability partners, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Stephen Paice and Airman 1st Class Jade Hallin. They were my rocks through this, along with my Chabelley family.” 

Airmen cannot succeed alone, they must build, sustain, and rely on their relationships to get them through. 

“This degree came with tears and wanting to quit,” said Hunter. “As of Feb. 3, 2022, “I officially have my Master of Science in Information Technology Management and couldn’t be any happier!

After the hard days, long nights Hunter leaves Airmen with some words of wisdom: “If I can you can! Keep pushing, one section a night will make a difference, accountability and setting your goals! You got this!”