OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb., –
Tech. Sgt. Corey Payne, noncommissioned officer in charge of the executive travel team from the Command, Control, Communications, and Computer (C4) Systems Directorate, hails from Dalton, Georgia, and has 8 years of military service.
Q: How does your job support USSTRATCOM and our missions?
A: As a personal communications officer to the USSTRATCOM commander and deputy commander it is my duty to provide secure and unsecure voice and data capabilities while traveling. This ensures Gen. John Hyten, commander of USSTRATCOM, is able to make sound decisions and relay those messages to our country’s leaders during times of peace and conflict.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your work at USSTRATCOM?
A: The ability to travel with the most senior parties in the command is eye-opening. It allows me to study the effects of top-down leadership and how they interact with other agency leaders. In turn, it motivates me to become a better leader, a better follower, and highly efficient at my technical abilities.
Q: What has been a challenge for you regarding your work at USSTRATCOM and how have you overcome that challenge?
A: Given my Air Force background, the most difficult transition to USSTRATCOM has been working with the interagency communications. It might seem miniscule to some, but the multitude of phones systems in the Department of Defense, both secure and unsecure, has been difficult to learn. Like anything, with time and practice I’ll be able to master all aspects of my job.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience in the military?
A: I never understood the meaning of the term “deliberate development” until 2 years ago. Being an unmotivated Airman at the time, my flight chief called me into his office and told me to pick an extra duty. I told him to “surprise me.” The next day I was now juggling work center management with Air Force group exercise planning. This was my first real taste of interacting with group and wing-level leaders – and it felt like I mattered. That old flight chief gave me a chance.
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: There is a lot of knowledge in the command. Get out of the office, interact with new people, and absorb the knowledge you gain from this joint environment. Learning never stops, especially in our field, and if we want to maintain our edge it’s critical we work as a team.