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Rock Solid Warrior: Staff Sgt. William Banton

The Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing for their positive impact and commitment to the mission.

This week’s Rock Solid Warrior is Staff Sgt. William Banton, public affairs photojournalist with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, deployed from the 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. The Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing for their positive impact and commitment to the mission.

The Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing for their positive impact and commitment to the mission.

Staff Sgt. William Banton, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs photojournalist, takes a photo Nov. 22, 2017, while working at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

The Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing for their positive impact and commitment to the mission.

Staff Sgt. William Banton, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs photojournalist, poses for a photo Dec. 28, 2017, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

The Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing for their positive impact and commitment to the mission.

Staff Sgt. William Banton, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs photojournalist, prepares to gather video footage Oct. 29, 2017, while working at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- This week’s Rock Solid Warrior is Staff Sgt. William Banton, public affairs photojournalist with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, deployed from the 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

The Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing for their positive impact and commitment to the mission.


What is your current job title and unit?

My current job title is public affairs photojournalist with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Which squadron and base are you deployed from?

I am deployed from the 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

Why did you join the Air Force?

I was working a lot of retail jobs prior to joining the Air Force and never really felt like I had job satisfaction. One night I received a call from a recruiter, weeks later I still couldn’t get the idea of the Air Force out of my head. I had never really considered the military prior to that and was scared that I would go through life never truly contributing to society. God answered my prayers and provided me the Air Force, the Air Force in return provided me with an opportunity to learn a skill trade while truly contributing to the betterment of the world.

How is your deployed unit/job different from your home unit/job?

While the job is exactly the same back at home, the differences here are huge. Here I am able to see firsthand the actuation of the hours of training that goes into achieving success. I get to see how the training is being implemented in the area of operations and tell families, and the public, about what our Airmen are doing to make this happen. It’s very rewarding to let people know that their loved ones are doing ok.

What are some of your professional and personal goals?

Professionally I hope to grow as an NCO and make E-6 this year. My personal goal is to complete a B.A. in Theology or Christian ministry and then one day pursue a degree in divinity and become a chaplain.

What is your favorite part of your mission here?

My favorite part of the mission is being able to travel, interacting with new people and having the opportunity to see how the mission is affecting the world.
What are some of your hobbies?

I’m a huge movie buff, so I love to watch movies and study the movie industry, educating myself on how and why certain movies were made.

What are some of the challenges you face here? How do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is the distance I have from my family. My wife and pets hold a special place in my heart and I feel off if I don’t get to talk to or see them on a regular basis.