I am an Airman: Tinker lieutenant seizes opportunity
By Brandice J. Armstrong , Tinker Air Force Base Public Affairs
/ Published June 22, 2007
Tinker Air Force Base --
Cory Steinbrecher is all about opportunity.
Opportunity landed him in the Army when he graduated high school and introduced him to the Air Force when he graduated college.
"The Air Force offered me opportunities I couldn't pass up," said 2nd Lt. Steinbrecher, an electrical engineer for the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group.
Even though the lieutenant has only been in the Air Force since 2004 and at Tinker since 2006, Lt. Steinbrecher said there are few things he takes for granted.
The Wisconsin native is the oldest of seven children; the youngest of whom are now 16. When he graduated high school in 1995, he couldn't afford college tuition, nor was he ready for it. Lt. Steinbrecher enlisted in the Army and was active for three years before he changed branches and joined the Army National Guard for seven years.
Through a G.I. Bill, the lieutenant attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned an engineering degree. In November 2004, he attended the Air Force's officer training school, a 12-week program, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
At Tinker, Lt. Steinbrecher is a facility manager responsible for Bldg. 3761's compact range for the B-1 radar. Ultimately, the lieutenant oversees the maintenance and upgrades of any equipment in the building. He is also the unit program fitness manager for 80 Airmen in the 76th CMXG.
Lt. Steinbrecher's workday typically begins at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.
"Our Commodities Maintenance Group has an outstanding mix of young officers and enlisted personnel," said Col. Jeffrey Sick, 76th CMXG commander. "Standing out as one of our best is Lt. Cory Steinbrecher.
"He is exceedingly motivated to help, no matter the arena, be it leading the wing in weekly (physical training) sessions to analyzing a complicated B-1 radar sensor array."
The lieutenant said in his military career, he's participated in and achieved several accomplishments, including a deployment to Bosnia in 1996. Yet, at Tinker, one of his greater personal accomplishments took place at this year's Star Spangled Salute.
Lt. Steinbrecher said he led a group of 65 volunteers to organize and assemble 17 static displays at dock five-and-a-half over a month's time.
"It wasn't necessarily my job but it was a good step in structure organization," the lieutenant said.
Living by the adage, "live for the day," the lieutenant seemingly takes the words to heart.
"I take what the Air Force offers me," he said. "I don't look at 'problems,' I see them as opportunities to learn from, (which will) make me a better person."
Honest and humble, Lt. Steinbrecher could be an example to younger Airmen and offers words of wisdom to younger Airmen.
"Supervisors exist for a reason," the lieutenant said. "They're not there to cause trouble in life, but to teach Airmen how to survive and grow in the Air Force.
"Take their criticism on a constructive level rather than them being negative."
Mark Lucash, 76th CMXG's Air Accessories, Avionics and Electronics Production Engineering Branch chief, and Lt. Steinbrecher's supervisor, agreed and spoke highly of the lieutenant.
"Young Airmen are provided the training to work successfully in any environment, but lack some of the confidence necessary to take control of the situation when needed," said Mr. Lucash. "Cory undertakes every task as his personal quest to achieve and sees no other option but to succeed."
Lt. Steinbrecher said ultimately he'd like to stay in the Air Force for 15 years to complete a 20-year-military career.