Women’s History Month feature: 1st Lt. Alexis Carlson

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brooke Spenner
  • 932nd Airlift Wing

In recognition of Women’s History Month, 1st Lt. Alexis Carlson, 932nd Medical Squadron, shared her perspective on serving as a woman in the military, the obstacles she has overcome, and her thoughts on the service's initiatives to achieve a rich, diverse and inclusive force.

Please give a summary of your military career.

1st Lt. Carlson: I began my military career as a direct accession as an operating room (OR) nurse after working as a civilian nurse. I worked at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), in San Antonio- the DoD’s only level-one trauma center in the OR where I learned how to be a better person, nurse, and officer. After my first contract, I transferred to the reserves as an OR nurse. I love being a part of the 932nd Medical Squadron and continuing to serve alongside fellow Airmen to complete the mission.

What has been the most rewarding part of your service?

1st Lt. Carlson: The most rewarding part of my service is the mission and patients. I enjoy serving different communities and making an impact on a larger scale. I have helped with policy revamping, medication protocols Military Training Facility-wide, education-in-services, and trauma missions that have sculpted me into an effective leader. A highlight of my service was being selected to be an Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) presenter for the 2020 global conference and expo and my research is published in the AORN journal while on active duty.

What is your favorite part of serving?

1st Lt. Carlson: My favorite part of serving is the mission that unites us all together to achieve a common goal. The military has provided ample opportunities for personal and professional advancement that is unmatched in the civilian sector. Additionally, the leadership in the military truly cares and wants to help Airmen progress in their careers. The leadership opportunities and projects I have been a part of in the military would not have been available to me until much later in my career civilian side.

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

1st Lt. Carlson: Honoring the past struggles, triumphs, and progress that women have taken to ensure we have access to care, fundamental rights, and an active role in society as equals--which are still goals we continue to strive for today. Seeing the radical changes in access to reproductive rights and other healthcare access struggles reinforces that women need to continue to use their voices to stand up for fundamental rights and a seat at the table for influencing future policy in the political arena in the United States.

What’s your advice to new Airmen (keeping Women's history month in mind)?

1st Lt. Carlson: Always continue to push yourself to be a better version of yourself and be open to new opportunities however they present themselves. Take appropriate risks and bet on yourself. To progress and push women, the U.S. and the USAF forward requires inspirational leaders and forward thinkers who think outside the box to make impactful changes on multiple levels. Be a good wingman, leader, and mentor. Share your strengths, weaknesses, and knowledge with others to lift up the team and model positive behavior as a change agent in your unit, community, and life.

I challenge women of every rank to take up space and use their voices for positive change in the USAF and their career fields. I can’t wait to see the changes they influence, the impact they impart on mission attainment, and the transformational leadership legacy they will make as mentors and leaders.