Tech. Sgt. Jordan Holmes: a driven woman

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Malissa Lott
  • 99 ABW

“No one is going to hand you anything, you’ve got to go out and work hard for it,” said Tech. Sgt. Jordan Holmes, 39th Air Base Wing Safety occupational safety technician.

These are the words of a woman who strives to be the best she can be and pushes to reach her goals.

“My mom was in the Army [when I was younger] and my aunt retired from the Air Force,” Jordan said. “I just started talking to them because obviously you’ve got to do something out of high school. I figured the Air Force would be the best fit, at least until I figured out what I wanted to do.”

Growing up and watching the success and determination of both her mother and her aunt were what helped shape Jordan as she grew up.

Her mother joined the Army when Jordan was young. During her mother’s six years in the Army, she obtained her certified nursing assistant license, then went on to complete nursing school.

“My mom is tough. She’s very honest and she’s very driven,” Jordan said. “I know most moms kiss your boo-boos and do all that, but my mom was more like ‘well you’re not dead, you’re fine, you’ll survive’. But she made us tough and I know that she’ll always tell me the truth. She’s my sounding board for any major decisions. She’s pretty cool.”

Jordan describes her aunt as an independent woman. She led a 20-plus year career in air traffic control before retiring from the Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant.

“I joined in 2010,” Jordan said. “I joined the Air Force originally because I visited my sister in college and thought, ‘this is definitely not for me.’”

After speaking to her mom and aunt, Jordan decided the Air Force was the best fit for her.

“I was maintenance for six years and then I cross trained into safety because they were forcing a bunch of our [technical sergeants] to cross train into being crew chiefs, and that’s just where I cross the line,” she said laughing. “I decided to switch to safety and it’s been the best decision I’ve made in my career.”

While men may outweigh women in terms of population in the Air Force, Jordan wouldn’t describe that as a setback in her opinion.

“For me, it was a great experience,” Jordan said. “It can be hard because when you look around, you don’t see anyone who looks like you, but it teaches you that you have to be confident in what you’re saying and what you’re doing. And eventually they just treat you like one of their own. You’re not this ‘one female’ that works in the office, you’re just part of the family.”

In her career, Jordan has only worked for one female, a retired chief. Jordan describes Ms. Jackie Dunson as a woman who knew her job well and treated everyone equally.

“She was a hard ass! But she was amazing,” she said. “She was a black female chief when there weren't black female chiefs. She didn’t have that mentor piece; no one wanted to help her, no one wanted to see her in that position.  She made that happen 100 percent on her own.”

Jordan says she has been fortunate to know mentors throughout her career who have and continue to help her along the way and says there’s no one person who’s the master of everything.

“It’s knowing who to ask and asking the right questions,” she continued.

During her career, Jordan said she has been stationed at five different bases in nine years and is about to complete her bachelor’s degree. Jordan seems to be constantly on the move, whether it’s job-related, hiking or camping.

She’s a self-motivator, always striving to work harder.

“I’ve always played sports so at Kadena, my first base, I just played softball all the time,” Jordan said.

She says it was at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, almost six years ago, where a friend introduced her to the world of body building. She says she fell in love with lifting and hasn’t been able to stop since.

“I love it because there’s nobody else that can do it for you. It’s 100% you,” she explained. “Somebody else can write out meal plans for you, somebody can give you all the workouts but if you don’t do it, if you don’t personally put in the hard work, you’ll never see a change, you'll never see a difference.”

She takes it as seriously as her job, she says, because it’s something that matters to her.

 “I want to keep growing.”

Jordan relies on her own abilities to excel at what she puts her mind to; a trait that she attributes to her success.

“You’re not always going to have someone there to help you or take care of things for you so you just need to get your own stuff done and depend on yourself,” she said. “It’s nice to have friends and family to count on, but you have to be able to do things on your own.”