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Mighty Ninety missileer selected to attend elite program

First Lt. Megan Willey, 321st Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander, poses for a picture accepting the Crew of the Quarter award for the 4th quarter, 2016. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

First Lt. Megan Willey, 321st Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander, poses for a picture accepting the Crew of the Quarter award for the 4th quarter, 2016. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --  

First Lt. Megan Willey, 321st Missile Squadron, missile combat crew commander, was recently accepted to attend the Army-Baylor Physical Therapy program.

 

Acceptance into the program and the opportunity to become a physical therapist is the fulfillment of a longtime personal goal, said Willey.

 

“I was first introduced to physical therapy by a sports injury in high school, and it really became a focus in college,” Willey said.

 

She is drawn to the field for a number of reasons, but Willey feels her strongest attraction to physical therapy is likely the need for interpersonal skills combined with strong medical knowledge.

 

“You have to know the ins-and-outs of the human body,” Willey said. “You also have to connect with people and motivate them to do their exercises on time and in a way to help them through the healing process that’s personal and for some people very emotional depending on the type of injury.”

 

Willey commissioned into the Air Force in May 2014, and she is a graduate of the University of North Carolina. One of the major forces that drove her toward joining the Air Force is the devotion she admired in her mother, according to Willey. Her mother was on active duty for five years, stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. She then served as a member of the Air Force Reserves for eighteen years as an acquisitions officer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

 

“My mother was very inspirational to me, to have worked in the reserves while remaining flexible and providing for her family,” Willey said.

 

Willey has been stationed at F.E. Warren for approximately two years, arriving in December 2014. She attended training for two months and executed her first alert in February 2015. 

 

Willey explained one of the biggest challenges that was hard to overcome was the initial surprise of being told she was going to be a missileer. A common response from others would be an apology that she had received the duty. In her opinion, the original concept of missile duties is skewed, due to common misconceptions of the duty. Willey aspires to improve this image to others on a daily basis and while she is completing her physical therapy program.   

  

In addition to being selected into this elite program, Willey has won various awards including, 321st Combat Crew for the 4th quarter of 2016, and Combat Crew of the Year at the squadron and group levels.

 

“She is an absolute superstar in my squadron,” said Lt. Colonel Johnny Galbert, 321st Missile Squadron commander.