Master Sergeant (Ret.) Pat Finch joined the Air Force in 1972 with hopes of being a security forces Airman, but realized near the end of basic training that she would become a Basic Military Training Instructor. After being an instructor for eight years, she became an administrator, which took her to assignments in Iceland, Alabama, Texas and Alaska, covering all aspects of the career field.
She has two primary mentors: Chief Master Sgt. Jimmy Lavender, who ran the professional military education school at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and her husband Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (Ret.) Jim Finch. She says the two have had the biggest influences on her life. Although Finch retired in 2005 after 23 years of service, her legacy continues through the Airmen that she pushed to be their best during basic training. “I am Air Force. I may be retired, but I am still Air Force,” she said.