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446th career advisor reflects on her 20 years of military service

Airman raised his right hand to take the oath of enlistment.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - A 446th Airlift Wing Reserve Citizen Airman takes the oath of enlistment during his reenlistment ceremony at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Aug. 8, 2021. After speaking with a career advisor, the airman decided to reenlist in the Air Force Reserve. A career advisor counsels enlisted Airmen on their career options. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ann Butler)

Photo of airman

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Master Sgt. Minette Mason, a career advisor for the 446th Mission Support Group, poses for a photo outside at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Aug. 8, 2021. Career advisors help Airmen with their reenlistments, either by leading them towards what forms or requirements need to be done or discussing their different career options. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ann Butler)

Two airmen review file.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Tech. Sgt. Paul Amora, left, customer support and career advisor for the 446th Force Support Squadron, receives career advisor advice from Master Sgt. Minette Mason, career advisor for the 446th Mission Support Group, at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Aug 8, 2021. Career advisors counsel all Airmen on career paths, re-enlistments and retraining opportunities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ann Butler)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

As Master Sgt. Minnette Mason, a Career Advisor for the 446th Mission Support Group, prepares for her retirement in December, she reflects on her 20 years of military service in the Air Force.

“It's kind of a crazy time right before Sept. 11, 2001, I joined as a young mom, my daughter was a year-and-a-half at the time and I joined because I needed to be able to provide for her and plus I wanted to get out of Washington state,” said Master Sgt. Mason. “I wanted to travel and wanted to see new things, so I figured the Air Force would be a good way to do that.”

Now as a grandma, she wants her grandchild to be able to dream big.

The natural drive to want to help others transferred over to her job as a career advisor.

“If I can help even one airman, it's a super-rewarding career,” said Mason. “I wanted to share it with folks and what better way to do that than to be a group career advisor for the MSG.”
Mason's helpfulness has reached beyond the group, as she has advised many members of the 446th Airlift Wing.

“They are always here for us. She always goes above and beyond, and I'm always able to reach her,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Greer, superintendent of the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron here.

Mason’s favorite aspect of being a career advisor is meeting people and learning what they do in and out of the uniform.

“I really enjoy meeting people; I enjoy hearing the stories of our Airmen and kind of learning what their experiences have been and whether it's in the Reserve, or outside the Reserve,” Mason said.

“One of the things I always do when folks come in and talk to us about their careers, I ask them what they do outside of the Reserve and just kind of get to know who they are as a person and also why they joined the military.”

While her Air Force career draws to a close, Mason is still learning new things.

“You know how everybody’s situation is typically different, and so even though we may get some of the same questions,” Mason said. “Sometimes, because of that person’s situation, we can apply these options versus those options.”

“I enjoyed kind of customizing how we can support people and give them as much based on what they need, so it's never the same thing over and over again … always something new.”

Mason retires from the Air Force Reserve on Dec. 1, 2021.