From musician to Airman

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
I grew up in a very musical household. Music was more than just something to enjoy every now and then with my family; it was a way of life, how my parents made a living and the glue that held our family together.

One of my fondest memories as a child, and also one of the most irritating things a person could endure, was when my father would write his music in the middle of the night. For whatever reason, at least in my mind for no good reason, my dad would go into the bathroom with his guitar and start writing songs. Before long, he would be singing at the top of his lungs completely oblivious that it was three in the morning and every living being who resided in that house had to wake up at a decent time the next day.

This was a common occurrence.

Even with the torture I had to endure and the scars my eardrums bear from being awoken almost every single night to a half-written song being sung at the top of my dad's lungs, I caught the musical bug. Before long, I had a degree in music production and became a self-employed musician.

Every step of the way, I had to learn certain disciplines. In the recording studio, my leadership skills were tuned. In the classroom, I learned the benefits of paying attention to detail and I began to appreciate how dedication and persistence really does pay off in the long run.

The military played almost as big a part in my upbringing as music did. My father served in the Army just like his father and grandfather. He learned how to play music while in the military and became a well-rounded musician by performing at events and get-togethers hosted on base.

Everything I learned from him had a one-liner life lesson to go with it, which was strung to one of his many crazy stories about his military career.

When I decided to join the Air Force I never imagined how much being a musician would help me in my day-to-day life as an Airman. Those same disciplines I had learned while studying music, help me in everything I do. The leadership skills I learned while spending countless hours directing studio sessions have helped me step up to the plate when a situation arises where a leader is needed instead of a follower.

Learning how to pay attention to detail while in the classroom has transferred directly into everything I do as an Airman. I have also learned that being dedicated and persistent will never steer me wrong while I try to achieve my goals in the military.

Becoming a good musician takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Every day I am learning new things about my craft and every day I find a way to implement those things into my life as an Airman in the United States Air Force.