Dedication to service

  • Published
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing

As a Security Forces Airman and a command team executive with more than 11 years of service, one Airman was inspired to train to become a pilot and to serve for as long as he can.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Craig Piazza, 6th Air Refueling Wing senior enlisted executive assistant to the commander, was recently notified of his acceptance into Officer Training School by Gen. David Allvin, vice chief of staff of the Air Force.

“Craig has impressed me from day one,” said Bingham. “He leads unafraid and is motivated to succeed in any situation.”

Piazza plans to serve for a total of 48 years to earn the title of the longest serving Airman.

“I love this uniform,” Piazza said. “I’m going to wear it until they make me take it off. That’s my idea of being able to give back to the people around me, to the Airmen that make this Air Force great.”

Piazza served as a defender for 10 years before becoming an executive for the 6th ARW command chief. After completing the assigned one year in this role, Air Force Col. Adam Bingham, 6th ARW commander, offered Piazza a position as senior enlisted chief executive to the commander. Recently, Piazza was accepted to train at the Air Force OTS to complete his commission.

“Every day I am so happy to put on this uniform knowing that I am working with a fantastic team,” Piazza said. “Over this past year and a half, I have worked with a team that has shown me how awesome our Air Force and our Airmen really are. I have seen individuals committed to greatness throughout my time in the Air Force, but to see a whole team as dedicated as [the 6th ARW] who gives their all every day to better the lives of the people that live and work here at MacDill is truly great.”

Being a part of this team has inspired Piazza to train outside duty hours to pursue his private pilot’s license to give him the best chance at making his dream come true.

“When I first assumed my position as command chief executive, I got to sit in the cockpit of a KC-135 Stratotanker with [Air Force] Col. Benjamin Jonsson, the former 6th ARW commander,” Piazza said. “I had wanted to become a pilot for a long time before that, but being in that cockpit for the first time really got me starstruck.”

Piazza’s vision for his career continues to broaden with each experience the Air Force affords him. His dream aircraft to fly would be the C-17 Globemaster. To him, its highly adaptive mission set relates to the multi-capability of today’s Airmen, and the jet’s role in AMC as a mission support aircraft helps him to give back to the Air Force that has given him everything.

“He has big dreams, and the passion and tenacity to make them all come true,” said Bingham. “No one can know exactly how a life or career will turn out, but I’m quite certain of this: regardless of the path Craig goes down… the winning will continue. I’m excited for what this great Airman will continue to do for the United States of America.”