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Airman’s Spotlight: 2nd Lt. Jordan Sowden

Second Lieutenant Jordan Sowden, 47th Mission Support Group executive officer, is working toward a 20 year career in the U.S. Air Force. As this week’s Airman Spotlight, Sowden discussed what she heard about military culture and how she’s discovering what that means to her and what she’s learning from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Benjamin Valmoja)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

From the outside looking in, when some people think about a military service member the image of a dirt-covered, battle-hardened grunt in full combat gear may come to mind. Those who served could testify that isn’t always the case.

Second Lieutenant Jordan Sowden, 47th Mission Support Group executive officer, breaks those barriers with her bright personality.

“When I was in ROTC at the University of Florida, people told me, ‘Your personality is too bubbly, you’re not going to fit in,’ or, ‘Why would you join the military,’” she recalled, laughing. “I tried to tell them that the military isn’t what everyone thinks it is.”

While different than the public’s perception of military service, Sowden’s role in the big picture is just as important as any others. Day to day, she is responsible for smoothing out the 47th Mission Support Group’s path, and making sure everything in one of Laughlin’s biggest agencies is running on all cylinders.

What drove her to serve is relatable to many as well, with a bit of a twist -- her grandfather served in not one, not two, but three different branches of military.

“He was first drafted into the Army in 1965, then joined the Air Force in 1972, where he retired as a technical sergeant. After he retired, he was called back into the Navy in 1985 to serve as a hospital corpsman,” she explained. “He’s my biggest inspiration, and his service motivated me to serve my country too.”

Now that she’s in, she hopes to make a 20-year career out of her service, but plans to take it one step at a time.

“I hope to make this my career, that’s the goal, to make that ‘20’,” Sowden said. “There are so many things I can pick up from Laughlin along the way that will make sure I crush it.”