Women’s History Month: 302 AW Airman shares personal experience

  • Published
  • By Laura Fitzmorris
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

March is known to Americans as the month that reminds us to celebrate the strong and independent women who have served throughout our history. Reflecting on this, Master Sgt. Carlos Gonzalez thought of his former 302nd Security Forces Squadron co-worker, Tech. Sgt. Ruby Beilfuss.

“When I think of a defender that is a great ambassador for the 302nd, Tech. Sgt. Beilfuss is at the top of the list,” said Gonzalez, 302nd Airlift Wing Inspector General for Inspections wing readiness exercise coordinator. “She is not just an outstanding NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer), but a dedicated combat arms instructor and servant to the Colorado Springs community. She is a role model for all NCO’s and Airmen.”

Beilfuss serves as a Crimes Against Children detective for a large police agency in Colorado, prior to which she also served as a patrol officer for just shy of 5 years. In her Reserve capacity, Beilfuss is a weapons instructor for the 302 SFS Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Section.

“I am fortunate that many of the skills I learn in my Reserve position often overlap with my civilian position, and vice versa,” said Beilfuss. “Both roles afford me the opportunity to continuously train in vital areas such as tactics and weapons proficiency. As a detective, I also have the opportunity to hone my interviewing and investigation skills which I can share with my fellow security forces members to also help them grow professionally.”

Members of the armed forces are among 1% of the U.S. population and, according to Beilfuss, are just a few with the privilege and honor to serve our great country.
“Of the 1.9 million members of the armed forces, only 20% of service members are women,” said Beilfuss. “This can present unique challenges for women who chose to serve, but more importantly it offers an environment where women can thrive and empower one another.”

Beilfuss stated that being a woman in, or about to join, the military is not an obstacle or weakness to overcome.

“Women are an increasingly vital asset to the military and can offer innovative, fresh perspective,” said Beilfuss. “In the 9 years of my career as a Reservist, I have obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree, I’ve obtained new challenging positions in my civilian job and I had my second child. Finding a balance in your personal and professional career is absolutely possible and beyond rewarding!”

Throughout his thirteen years wearing the uniform, Gonzalez said he has always felt he is a part of an organization that looks out for one another.

“I truly believe that we are all ‘one team, one fight’ in the Air Force Reserve,” said Gonzalez. “All Airmen play an important role to ensure we remain a dominant force by maintaining readiness. I see that the individual is responsible for the team and the team is responsible for the individual.”

As a Hispanic female and first generation American, Beilfuss says she feels beyond fortunate to serve with a group of men and women who embrace and carry out the ‘one team, one fight’ mentality.

“It is amazing to see groups of people from different backgrounds and cultures come together to achieve a goal and higher purpose. Every task, no matter how small, contributes to successfully completing a mission and utilizing every individual’s unique skills and strengths produces incredible results.”

Beilfuss credits the Reserve for molding her into the person she is today and giving her a strong warrior mentality to face unexpected obstacles. After enlisting in the Air Force Reserve in 2012, she experienced her first deployment in 2014. The hardest part, she said, was being away from her son and family.

“I quickly learned that your brothers and sisters in arms become a second family, especially through those shared experiences and struggles. From the pre-deployment training to the deployment itself, I had mentors and friends guiding me through the unknown processes and helping me grow into a better Airman and leader,” said Beilfuss. “I knew at the end of that deployment I had made the right choice to serve and my extended family has continued to grow ever since. The experiences you share with those beside you in circumstances only military personnel can understand creates a tremendous unique bond unlike others you experience in life.”