OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb., –
Staff Sgt. Montai Gillard, space and counter-space analyst with the Intelligence Directorate (J2), hails from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has six years of military service.
Q: How does your job support USSTRATCOM and our missions?
A: As an analyst assigned to J2, I have had the opportunity to brief general and flag officers on emerging threats in the space domain, support the command’s tier-1 exercises, and produce reports that directly support the commander of U.S. Strategic Command.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your work at USSTRATCOM?
A: Working at USSTRATCOM is like no other place that I have had the opportunity to support. During my two years at the command, I have had the chance to work with incredible professionals at the directorate and command levels, supporting open houses, annual awards planning, and even KEYSTONE and CAPSTONE events. I would say the most rewarding thing about working at USSTRATCOM would be the ability to network and meet so many new people.
Q: What has been a challenge for you regarding your work at USSTRATCOM and how have you overcome that challenge?
A: Throughout my career, I have primarily served the Air Force at the tactical and operational levels. USSTRATCOM has challenged me to adapt my ability to write, brief and analytically think at the strategic level. I overcame this challenge by immersing myself in my mission set, leveraging knowledge from the subject matter experts around me and focusing on the journey ahead. It doesn’t really matter how good or bad things are in the beginning; it comes down to how you handle them; for example, championing a task, or completing an enduring objective or goal, etcetera.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience in the military?
A: I don’t think I can put my finger on just one memorable moment or experience in the military. I have tons ranging from my first two deployments to the Middle East supporting aircrew members and contingency operations, to being photo-bombed by Gen. John Hyten, commander of USSTRATCOM, and Chief Master Sgt. Patrick McMahon, senior enlisted leader for USSTRATCOM, at the STRATCOM Birthday ball a couple of years ago.
Q: What is the one piece of information or advice about working at USSTRATCOM that you'd pass on to new members of the USSTRATCOM team?
A: The first thing I’d tell folks is that your character is what defines you. If you are of good character, people will trust and believe in you, which pulls the team together in the end. I’d also say, remember that leadership doesn’t begin when you put on more rank. Each and every day is an opportunity to lead and improve yourself, and aid in that of those around you. Lastly, never stop learning.