A lasting impression

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Parker
  • 82d Training Wing Public Affairs
Team Sheppard is currently host to two unique women Airmen-in-Training, both with high hopes on leaving a lasting impression on the Air Force.

Airman Basic Bridgit Zens and Airman Nicole Zens are sisters in the 365th Training Squadron. From their time at basic military training to now the two have had a unique Air Force journey.

The sisters were able to attend basic training at the same time and continued on to be in the same class during technical training at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. They are now here at Sheppard to finish training before heading off to their first duty station at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

While Nicole Zens is the older of the two it was Bridgit who first took the pledge to join the Air Force.

"She has always wanted to be like her little sister," joked Bridgit.

Being raised in a competitive environment, that spirit has followed them into their Air Force careers. Nicole rose to the top in physical training by becoming the top female performer in her flight while Bridgit set her sights on out performing Nicole in school.

"We always want to be the best so we constantly challenge each other," said Nicole.

The two hope that with their careers in the Air Force they will have the opportunity to see the world, branch out and explore as well as obtain a college education.

They both stated that joining was "the best decision" they've ever made, and have high hopes to follow in the footsteps of the many successful women that have come before them.

Each had a message to send young women who are thinking of the Air Force as a possible career.

From Bridgit Zens:

"I'm Bridgit Zens. I'm 19 years old and I grew up in small town in South Dakota called Brandon. I joined the Air Force to venture out into the world and immerse myself in different cultures.

I had a different experience than most people when I joined because my family came with me. We both have the same job and went through basic training and are currently going through tech school together. It is nice having someone close by that I've grown up with and can experience the Air Force life with.

My sister and I were the first in our family to enlist in the Air Force. Joining has made me a stronger and more responsible person, and has given me the pride of being involved in something bigger than myself."

From Nicole Zens:

"The moment I decided to join the Air Force was not only life changing, but also one of the most rewarding opportunities. My inspirations for joining were the opportunities that are available to those who serve.

I was raised in a small town in South Dakota and wanted to experience more than just corn. Traveling is a major incentive that influenced me to join. The experience and cultural diversity that comes with traveling around the world is also a major perk.

During my career with the Air Force I hope to further my education by working towards a degree. I also hope to form memories and friendships that last a lifetime and to make a difference."

Coming from a small town the Air Force has afforded the two many opportunities and they are ready and willing to take advantage of those opportunities. Both expressed interest in taking their career as far as it can go and to one day retire from the Air Force.