Setting goals--The journey of an Airman

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
From the big city of Detroit, Mich. to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Irina Velanovich embarked on a journey to accomplish the goals that she had set for herself and become the person she is today.

"I wanted to do something that would benefit society," said Velanovich. "I decided that the Air Force would afford me that opportunity."

Airman 1st Class Irina Velanovich became a member of the 6th Comptroller Squadron at MacDill on Oct. 21, 2012, wasting no time putting herself to work.

Starting in full stride with set goals, Velanovich researched the various ways to make Senior Airman Below-the-Zone, finish her degree and join a book club. By talking to those around her, she set her perfect plan into motion.

Within the first month, she was involved in every on-base and off-base activity imaginable.

"A friend of mine told me to get my name out there to let people know who I am and what I am capable of and the rest will fall into place," commented Velanovich. "I recognized the best way to execute this task was to organize and lead everything possible."

Jumping from one task to the next, Velanovich became unstoppable. She lead volunteer opportunities, organized fund raisers and became recognized as a leader amongst her peers.

Velanovich organized events to raise money for her squadron's booster club and helped build homes in the local community.

"My motivation was my drive to excel; I have failed before and I know how much failure hurts," stated Velanovich. "There is no point in doing something if I can't do it well."

She became proficient at her job, completed her Career Development Courses and various Professional Military Enhancement courses and immediately enrolled in school to finish her degree.

"I didn't want to lose sight of the original goals I had set for myself, so I kept them all in check by constantly communicating with those who I wanted to emulate," commented Velanovich.

When the time came for her to submit her package to the BTZ board, Velanovich had a clear shot in the dark at earning her third stripe six months early. After a month-long wait, she received the news that she had made BTZ.

"I am truly grateful to those who believed in me and took the time to give the advice I needed in order to succeed," stated Velanovich. "To all the Airmen who have set goals, stick with them. Don't do it for others, do it for yourself; find out what makes you happy and hold on to it."