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By Airman 1st Class Alexus Wilcox, Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
/ Published January 30, 2021
(Space Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Alexus Wilcox)
After working in the U.S. Air Force for 13 years, a person might question their motivation to continue and persevere. Staff Sgt. Amos Hommel, Delta 8 payload operations supervisor, has a simple answer to that question: family.
“Even before I joined I’ve been really close to my family, but being away from them makes me realize how important the little moments are when it comes to family time,” said Hommel.
Growing up in the small town of Kingsport, Tennessee, Hommel dreamed of being in the military, following in the footsteps of his father, who worked in a supply unit for the U.S. Army, and two cousins, who worked in a U.S. Air Force maintenance unit, joined the Armed Forces. Although Hommel had originally planned to join the Army, he enlisted in the Air Force in 2007.
“The Air Force has been really good to me and it has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had back in my hometown,” he explained.
Hommel’s career began in the 628th Communications Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, where he was selected to become part of an aircrew. Being a part of an aircrew is a special duty in his career field, and he truly enjoyed the five years he spent flying on C-17s.
“Flying on a C-17 is cool, but the tactical maneuvers were amazing,” Hommel exclaimed. “For instance, we flew through the Grand Canyon where the sides were above the jet. That was definitely a once in a lifetime experience!”
Throughout his career, Hommel has had great mentorship. During his time in Charleston, he had a role model who made a large impact on his life and career, William Cotton, a staff sergeant at the time.
“Staff Sgt. Cotton actually cared,” Hommel explained. “He didn’t just ask how my day was or how a holiday was; he actually wanted to know details about my personal life and shared life experiences he’d been through.”
Cotton’s mentorship helps guide him as he worked with junior enlisted U.S. Air Force Airmen and U.S. Space Force Guardians. Hommel tries to steer them away from the negative experiences he encountered during his career, reminding them not to base their career on one assignment, unit or base.
“Taking care of people is what’s important to me, because without that you don’t have anything,” said Hommel. “You can be a good leader, but to be a great leader your subordinates need to care about what you have to say.”
Hommel isn’t all work though. He takes a keen interest in sports, especially football. His dad was a preacher, so if he wasn’t in the church with family, he was most likely playing on the football field.
Growing up Hommel loved the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team. He even had hopes of joining the team one day, but during his junior year of high school, he was injured. After the injury, physical contact sports became less of an option for Hommel but that did not stop him from persevering in life.
Aside from sports, Hommel also takes a keen interest in DC Comics.
“I don’t remember when it started, but from what I can remember, I have always been a Superman fan,” said Hommel.
From his demeanor to his attitude, Hommel finds similarities between him and Superman that are relevant to his life. He says that he relates to Superman being a loner and how, at times, he felt alienated in his life. Hommel also values the ideals of Superman: everyonemust be saved and even criminals should be brought to justice in an ethical manner, instead of being destroyed.
Hommel’s favorite tattoo is on his forearm, with a montage of the original Justice League characters and their villains. He also has the Tennessee “power T” tattoo to represent the Tennessee Volunteers football team that he loves.
Although Hommel enjoys many things, the military is definitely a priority. His assignment as a payload operations supervisor at Schriever Air Force Base started in March 2020, and he’s already established himself as a leader in his unit.
Hommel oversaw the certification of eight brand new tech school Airmen on their duty positions while maintaining 24-hour communications system operator coverage for the protected Schriever Satellite Communications enterprise.
“Staff Sgt. Hommel exemplifies the ‘lead by example’ mentality,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Rozneck, Space Delta 8 senior enlisted leader. “Over the past six months he’s filled a technical sergeant vacancy, leading 22 military and civilian satellite communication experts.”
According to Hommel, a person’s military career is what they make it, and though there will be difficult times, he had this to say for a person who takes charge of their future: “You’ll have the time of your life.”