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    688th Cyberspace Wingman, Guam native draws strength through culture

    688th Cyberspace Wingman, Guam native draws strength through culture

    Photo By Capt. Nadine Wiley De Moura | As Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month comes to an end the 688th Cyberspace Wing would...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Nadine Wiley De Moura 

    688th Cyberspace Wing

    As Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month comes to an end the 688th Cyberspace Wing would like to highlight and celebrate U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Veronica Babauta, a trailblazer, native of Guam and 22-year veteran within our ranks.

    Babauta is the 688th Cyberspace Wing A2/3 and the 690th Cyberspace Operations Group Senior Enlisted Leader.

    Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month holds significant importance as it provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month also highlights the challenges and experiences faced by these communities, raising awareness about issues such as discrimination, social inequality, and the need for inclusivity. By acknowledging and embracing the heritage of Asian and Pacific Islander peoples, this month encourages unity, dialogue, and the celebration of diversity in our increasingly interconnected world.

    Babauta, was born and raised in Guam and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force when she felt the call to serve after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Babauta is third generation military in her family, with family members having served in the Air Force, Marine and Army.

    She described her decision to join the Air Force over the other branches as happenstance.

    “I always had a desire to serve, but September 11th pushed me.”

    “The Army and Marine Corps were closed for lunch and the Air Force was open,” she joked.

    Babauta also speaks Chamarro, which is the native language of Guam. “It comes out more when I use it with my grandma, I encourage her to keep speaking it, because it provides me that connection to our culture.”

    She described Pacific Island culture as being known for being hardworking, family oriented and strong.

    “I am particularly proud growing up as a minority, female and member of the LGBT family-- I am a triple threat,” said Babauta.

    “All of this has helped me to find strength and be a success.”

    Babauta also finds extreme pride in being an American Citizen and reflects on her time observing differences in other militaries and some of the lesser freedoms other Asian countries have. She cited the outcome of the war as a determining factor in whether or not Guam would become a U.S. territory.

    “I am so grateful to be an American Citizen and just knowing the history and having gathered the wisdom from working with international militaries,” said Babauta. “It drives me to serve, because it could have been different.”

    Babauta said she draws strength from growing up in a poorer nation and that she learned to be resourceful and self-sufficient. This same strength she implements in leadership, breaking a room and influencing others to come together.

    “Pacific Island culture is all about the more the merrier, we are lovers not fighter,” said Babauta. “Once we establish hat connection, with any team we become family and genuinely devoted.”

    In her free time, Babauta continues to dedicate herself to service. She spearheads operations in a grass-roots initiative, “Project Nomad” that partners with the Air and Space Force to cultivate and optimize organizational cultures through human centered systems thinking.

    The all-volunteer group, empowers leaders to deliberately manage their organizational culture in order to get after strategic initiatives in a custom-tailored way.

    Babauta leads and organizes working groups globally and discussions with Airmen and Guardians targeting leadership major graded areas and providing actionable feedback to commanders.

    More recently, she led a team of Airmen in working group at the 90th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, 67th Cyberspace Wing, Shadows Edge office suite or the “SHED” in downtown San Antonio.

    As Babauta reflected on how she has transcended as a leader from the time of “Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell” to today’s inclusive military.

    “It was hard to serve during that error and not being able to bring my partner to functions,” said Babauta.

    “Fast forward to now, and my time in Hawaii I was able to open up more and speak to Airmen about it. I want to reach those Airmen who are suffering in silence for fear of being open about their identity—that is my goal.”

    In closing she offered some words of wisdom to all Airmen and Guardians.

    “Don’t be afraid to be you and share your light and your greatness with everyone else,” said Babauta. “You may not know, but someone may need that story and confidence—be a good human.”



    Date Taken: 05.30.2023
    Date Posted: 05.30.2023 21:56
    Story ID: 445817
    Location: SAN ANTONIO , TX, US 

    Web Views: 265
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