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Women's History Month - Master Sgt. Linda Musto

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Linda Musto, 175th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, stands in front of an A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Baltimore, Md., March 2, 2021. Musto was an aircraft armament systems mechanic before her current role. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Linda Musto, 175th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, stands in front of an A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Baltimore, Md., March 2, 2021. Musto was an aircraft armament systems mechanic before her current role. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers)

Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport --

Name: Master Sgt. Linda Musto

Age: 49

Location: Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport

Unit: 175th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

State you serve in: Maryland

Awards: Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal with one device

Date joined: In 1994, I joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and was assigned to the 171st Communications Flight, then joined the Maryland Air National Guard in 2010. I started my career with the Maryland Air National Guard as an aircraft armament systems mechanic.

Military Occupational Specialty: First Sergeant assigned to the 175th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Why did you decide to join?

When I graduated college my degree was in Secondary Education in History and it was very hard to find a job in that field. My brother-in-law was a pilot in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard so my sister and I would tag along at air shows because they happened to be where my family lived. I was able to get to know the aircrew and it seemed like a pretty good life in the Guard. I didn’t know the difference between officer and enlisted or the difference between Ops and everyone else. In talking with people they kind of recruited me and at first I said I am not military but then I thought maybe I could gain a skill and at the time the whole Comm thing was a high need and I scored high enough to get into the school.

What has been your favorite moment or part of serving?

My favorite part has been the deployments with this unit. We do deploy fairly frequently, we are on a pretty good cycle of every 24 to 36 months, typically, and I think that it kind of ties into why I joined because you are really feeling the mission and what you are part of in the real world. It is no longer a training environment, what you do definitely has an impact on the larger mission. For me, as tough as those deployments can be with being away from family and friends and having a completely different environment to operate in, it’s still the most rewarding because you can see the impact of your job.

What does this observance mean to you?

I’ve always liked history and I’ve always liked studying it, so I never really point out anything specific to celebrate in history, I just find history interesting. There are a lot of interesting characters and whether they are male or female, to me that is not necessarily how I navigate it. It’s more about the interesting stories and characters.

Anything else we should know about you?

I have completed two Ironman full-distance triathlons, both in Maryland. I like challenging things, so I’ve been into triathlon of varying distances for the past 10 or 15 years but it’s that elusive Ironman, which is a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and then a full marathon right after. It’s a long day, I’m not fast, but I like that challenge to see if I can push myself to do it.