Citizen Airmen: A closer look – Cedric Lee James

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

944th Fighter Wing Development and Training Flight recruits learn procedures, techniques, and receive information that will prepare them for success before attending basic military training and becoming Reserve Citizen Airmen. What assets do these recruits come with and what characteristics do they possess?

Cedric James, 944th FW D&TF recruit, is no stranger to how the military works and seems to have versatile interests and capabilities to bring to the table. His parents both served and retired from the U.S. Air Force. James, age 28, has recently committed to join the 944th FW and Air Force Reserve Command and humbly looks at his decision as an opportunity to better himself.

“I was looking for something good, something better,” said James. “I did some soul searching and I realized I wanted to serve, I want to do something great and give back.”

James is originally from Maryland and made a decision to leave behind a drumline scholarship opportunity at Bowie State University to move and be near his mother here in Arizona.

“My mothers’ health was deteriorating,” said James. “She was fighting cancer and I wanted to take care of her. I made the decision to come out here and I don’t regret it.”

He also has a passion for writing poetry and in 2011, he participated in an amateur boxing smoker competition on Luke Air Force Base which sparked another avenue of interest.

“I won that first one,” said James. “After that, I entered another event and I got knocked out. It was very humbling.”

After the being knocked out, James wanted to get better and learn from the best. He has trained with Floyd Mayweather Sr., father of professional boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Nate Jones, former U.S. Olympic and professional boxer.

James has made it clear that though his focus now is concentrating on his Reserve Citizen Airman responsibilities, he plans to pursue his boxing career in the future. James is currently at BMT in San Antonio, Texas and says he is excited to become a crew chief with the 944th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

In his civilian job, James works at the Luke Air Force Base commissary as a butcher.

“The reason why I’m here is to serve,” said James. “I believe in service before self.”