‘Being a reservist adds diversity to my life’

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Courtney Richardson
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The common answers for most Airmen as to why they join the military is for the benefits or to get a jumpstart on a career but one Senior Airman already had a plan, he just needed to add something different.

“My responsibilities are to troubleshoot and perform maintenance on the electrical and environmental systems on the A-10 Thunderbolt,” said Senior Airman Matthew Gadziala, an electrical and environmental specialist with the 924th Maintenance Group.

Gadziala has been a reservist for two years and assigned to the unit for one.

“After high school I did one year at the University of Arizona and took a leave of absence to join the reserves,” said Gadziala, “I needed a change of pace and I thought the reserves was a good way to change things up and get a little backbone in my life.”

The Air Force wasn’t a new idea for Gadziala, his dad was an F-16 crew chief who shared his stories about the military life.

“I was already interested in flightline maintenance and because of my scores my recruiter encouraged me to do E & E,” said Gadziala, “It seemed interesting because I get to learn about wire maintenance and air conditioning.”

Gadziala explained that before he joined the reserves, he was not the hands-on type.

“I knew basic stuff like changing a tire, but if someone asked me about wires and grounding I would be completely oblivious but this job has taught me a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t have gone out and learned on my own,” said Gadziala.

While he loves his job in the Air Force, it isn’t his ultimate goal in life.

“I am going to school for something completely different from this, I want to be a doctor,” said Gadziala.

He loves the fact that his civilian life and military life don’t share the same craft.

“Being a reservist adds diversity to my life and gives me a different outlook on things,” said Gadziala.

With both of his career choices, someone’s life will depend on his expertise and he’s comfortable with that.

“There’s a lot of trust involved in my [E & E] job and it’s very humbling to have someone’s life in your hands but I have more confidence and discipline because of what I do,” said Gadziala.
The rigidity and willingness to learn is seen and appreciated by those who work with him.

“Gadziala works hard and gives 100 percent of whatever we ask of him even if the task is difficult,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Edwards, E & E technical supervisor. “He has a really good work ethic.”

Gadziala hasn’t decided on a specialty but as of today, he is interested in Cardiovascular, Emergency, Pathology or Immunology. He is also thinking about where he wants to work when he graduates, either as a commissioned officer in the Air Force or as a civilian.

“Two years ago I did not see myself where I am today,” said Gadziala, “It’s completely crazy how fast things change.”