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Behind the Uniform: Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez, 175th Security Forces superintendent, poses outside the Security Forces building at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md., on March 5th, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez, 175th Security Forces superintendent, poses outside the Security Forces building at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md., on March 5th, 2021. Before joining the Maryland Air National Guard, Rodriguez served on active duty in the U.S.. Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Danielle Lofton)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez, 175th Security Forces superintendent, sits at her desk in her office reviewing Air Force Instructions at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md., on March 5th, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez, 175th Security Forces superintendent, sits at her desk in her office reviewing Air Force Instructions at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md., on March 5th, 2021. Before joining the Maryland Air National Guard, Rodriguez served on active duty in the U.S.. Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Danielle Lofton)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez, 175th Security Forces superintendent, sits at her desk in her office reviewing Air Force Instructions at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md., on March 5th, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez, 175th Security Forces superintendent, sits at her desk in her office reviewing Air Force Instructions at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md., on March 5th, 2021. Before joining the Maryland Air National Guard, Rodriguez served on active duty in the U.S.. Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Danielle Lofton)

MIDDLE RIVER, Md. --

 

Name: Master Sgt. Wanda Rodriguez

Age: 42

Location: Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport

Unit: 175th Security Forces Squadron

State you serve in: Maryland Air National Guard

Awards: 2020 Airmen of the Year (175th Wing and Region II)

Date joined: I joined the Air Force in 1998 and was stationed at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan and then in 2002, I transferred to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. After two years at Cannon, I transferred to Andrews Air Force Base and worked there until 2008. I transferred to the Maryland Air National Guard in 2008 and have been stationed here ever since.

Military Occupational Specialty: 175th Security Forces plans and programs superintendent

Why did you decide to join?

I went to a recruiter station with one of my best friends. I wasn't going there for me but I was going there to support her. I heard the recruiter speak and I said, “okay.” I was in college, and I was working full-time, so it was a lot. I thought this is different and he talked about education and traveling. I said, “Sign me up,” and a month later I was off. It was just by chance, but I wanted to get away.

What has been your favorite moment or part of serving?

So far, I have to say that it has a lot to do with my troops. When they sit you down and ask, “Could you put my stripe on for me”? I always ask them why. They are always so thankful for the little things that I have done, which is crazy because I do not even notice them while I'm doing them. As a supervisor, you do what you're supposed to do and you do it for everyone. It’s getting those “thank you’s”. At this point in my career, it's really all about my troops and doing work for them and helping them build their career to one day surpass me, and that's really important for me.

How does it feel to be a woman in the Air Force?

I like to take a step back and look at all the women that came before me and I really value the job that they have done and the doors they have opened for me and for all of us. Kind of like when Maj. Gen. Singh came, you know, it was just awesome to see. I haven't had very many female commanders. I had one when I was deployed, but you don't really see a lot of female commanders so just seeing that really just opened my eyes. Our [Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force] right now is Chief Bass and to be in this moment in which we do have her there is awesome to see. Those doors are being opened every day and just valuing the females that came before us and to see their work, it really gives you the extra push you know to try and do more and try to get where they're at.

Anything else we should know about you?

I am a devoted boxing fan. I grew up in a Hispanic household with one television that my dad controlled, so I grew to love the sport. Needless to say, I’ve been watching boxing all my life even to this day. My kids are also boxing fans, so I would say it’s now a family affair. My favorite boxers of all time are Julio Caesar Chavez and Miguel Cotto.