CE Airman strives to improve base, community, self

  • Published
  • By Airman Cortney Paxton
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Stable and functional buildings are relied on by Airmen throughout the Air Force for shelter during high-risk situations and environments to efficiently complete tasks needed to carry out missions but, most of all, as places to call their homes.

For one Air Force Global Strike Command Airman, keeping these buildings functional is a daily - and sometimes dirty - task. Airman 1st Class Lionel Dumas, a 341st Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems apprentice, spends his days fixing the various things that go wrong within the buildings on Malmstrom Air Force Base.

"I don't have a desk job," Airman Dumas said. "I get to drive around, meet a lot of people and go to a lot of places; that's one thing that I really like. Something that's broken, I go fix and the appreciation I get from people is instantly gratifying."

Airman Dumas works on anything from sinks and showers to the not as highly esteemed sewage systems; his tasks sometimes require him to temporarily disregard personal hygiene in order to accomplish them.

"I don't mind getting dirty; I don't see anything wrong with it," he said. "It just goes with the job."

Another thing that goes with the job is teamwork. Airman Dumas works alongside other members of his unit on a daily basis and is not afraid to step up into leadership positions.

"He motivates others to do better at what they do," said Tech. Sgt. Don Allen, 341st CES NCO in charge of utilities. "He's the type of guy that goes to a job, and no matter how late it gets, he stays until it's done."

"I try to do positive things around people that I work with," Airman Dumas said. "After you do it for so long it becomes habit. I'm just leading by example and hoping people follow."

Being positive is something this Detroit native keeps with him both on- and off-duty. When he's not working, he spends his time in high spirits with children; he volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club and also as a member of the Airmen for Education program. He's also a physical training leader for his squadron, dorm council president for building 742, and was emcee for last year's Annual Awards ceremony.

"If you don't look at your Air Force career as a nine to five job and you go out there and try to help out the community or do things for your squadron you end up getting a more rewarding experience out of it," he said. "Once you open yourself up to volunteer opportunities, the Air Force becomes such an awesome place."

But this dedicated Airmen doesn't stop at community improvement; he has currently taken, and passed, five CLEP tests toward his Community College of the Air Force degree all while still finishing up his Career Development Courses.

"A lot of Airmen go through and don't make waves," said Staff Sgt. Tyler Peterson, 341st CES work center supervisor. "Airman Dumas actually makes an effort to make the jobs of the people around him easier."

"I just want to make an impact on the Air Force," Airman Dumas said. "Most people think that stuff isn't really going to change but it can change on the shop level. Once you can change how your shop operates, you can move up to how your squadron operates. There's really no telling how much you can change."