Tech. Sgt. Chanika Walters

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Tech. Sgt. Chanika Walters is a 413th Aeromedical Staging Squadron command support staff NCO in charge. Her military career began in 1992 when she joined the U.S. Army for nine years as a truck driver. But that wasn’t her original plan when she decided to enter the military.

“In the back of mind, I always wanted to go Air Force,” said Walters. “In high school, I took the [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] test — the Air Force recruiter said I didn’t have a good enough score, so that’s why I chose the route to go Army.”

After about a four-year break, she joined the Air Force Reserve in 2005 when her husband and best friend, Rennie, encouraged her to give it another shot.

“So husband is my hero,” she said. “My husband doesn’t give me 20 percent. He doesn’t give me 40 percent. He gives me 110 percent every time, and I try my best to give him the same. And that’s why it’s very important that I’m here for, not only him, but also our family. Because I can’t have a career without my family being behind me to make that happen.”

Though she had a desire to be a personnel specialist, Walters initially joined the 413th ASTS as a pharmacy technician. Certain hurdles kept her from the career field she sought after. But with patience and faith, she said she maintained until an opportunity arose that granted her dream job.

“When it happened, it was the greatest feeling ever,” she said. “To be told no, and to all of a sudden be told yes — I cried when my commander allowed me to make that transition.

“Since I’ve been here,” she added. “Everyone tells me there’s a difference in me. There has been a difference. To be here now and to be able to assist where I am now, it’s a wonderful feeling.”

Walters is currently in her 20th year in the military, but she says she has no plans on retiring anytime soon.