STARs of Service: SSgt. Williams continues family tradition

Published 4:56 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

(Editor’s Note: This is a regular series that will be recognizing members of the armed services from Elizabethton and Carter County. If you know of a veteran or active service member that would like to share their story to the public, email or call (423) 297-9057.)

From Hampton to countries all across the globe, Dakota Williams is keeping a family tradition going strong.

It all comes with patriotic and civic pride. Williams, a Carter County native, has served with the United States Air Force since May 2012. Williams holds the position of Staff Sergeant and serves as a Security Forces Flight Sergeant.

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When it came to making a decision about enlisting, Williams stated that his family has a history of service with the military.

“I sought out a career in the military from an obligation that I felt toward serving our country, as well as my family has served,” Williams said. “Both of my grandfathers and my mother served. One grandfather and my mother were Army, and the other was Army and Air Force.”

Over the course of his military career, Williams was quick to point out the experience has been enjoyable because of the people and places encountered along the way.

“Some of the highlights of my service have been all the amazing people that I’ve met and worked with,” he said. “Also, the places I’ve traveled to. I’ve stepped foot in seven countries and seen some breathtaking views that I wouldn’t have had the chance to see had I not joined.”

To qualify as a Flight Sergeant, a candidate must have six years of law enforcement experience along with critical duty certification.

When it comes to serving with the security force, it all comes back to paying attention to every detail. For those looking to enlist in the military, Williams added that is one of the key attributes needed to move forward in the career.

“Pay attention to every little detail,” he said. “In basic training, that’s one of the first things you’re told, and there’s a big reason for it. If you’re an aircraft mechanic, and you’re supposed to tighten a bolt down to a specific amount of pressure, but you are off by even a little bit, that aircraft could fall in the air.

“Also, volunteer for everything,” he added. “Your leadership will notice, and they’ll start relying on you for more important things if you deliver a good product consistently.”