Finance NCO shares King's legacy

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mosness
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
The Army recruiting office was empty when Tech. Sgt. Travis Spencer went to get information about joining, so he moved down the hall and knocked on the Air Force recruiter's door.

Fast forward 11 years, and Spencer said he couldn't be happier with his decision.
Though he went into the Air Force not knowing what his career field would be, Spencer, now the 81st Comptroller Squadron financial service flight chief, said he loves his job.
"Basically, we service 17,000 customers in relation to military, travel and civilian pay," Spencer said.

Spencer, who hails from Quitman, Ga., currently manages 12 people. This isn't a task Spencer takes lightly. He tries to be a life coach to everyone he comes in contact with, and much what he tries to instill in his subordinates and counterparts comes not only from being an ordained minister, but also from his hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As part of the February observance of African-American Heritage Month, Spencer delivered a presentation on King to his squadron.

"For me, it is not just a month about African American history -- it's everyone's history," he said. "It's a time to look at different accomplishments. It's special. I'm glad I am alive to experience this time."

Spencer is in awe of King, not only because of what he did, but the legacy he left.
"Words mean a lot," he added. "What he said are core values. They are not just tag lines. You can take it and apply it to life. Some of the things he said wake you up and make you feel alive."

The fact that King used nonviolence to get his message across is the most significant thing to Spencer, he said. King's words help him speak up for things that matter.
"I live by it every day," he said. "If I see something wrong in my squadron, I speak up and say something immediately. If I see someone out of regulations or doing something they shouldn't, I correct them using brotherly love."

Spencer shared his passion and knowledge with his fellow Airmen and they took a lot away from his briefing.

"I felt the presentation Sergeant Spencer did on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how he tied the actions that were accomplished during that time to our current time and today was good for our members to hear," said Senior Master Sgt. Craig Pearson, 81st Comptroller Squadron superintendent. "We all have a voice, and often we have members that are not willing to use it. Dr. King had many quotes and what Sergeant Spencer did was tie a few of them into the way our military force operates today."

"Sergeant Spencer is a focused young man," Pearson continued. "He is a definite asset to the comptroller family as a whole. He demonstrates the total person: family man, fit, hard worker and willing to help in the community. He has only been at Keesler a little more than a year and a half, but he's already deployed for six months to Afghanistan with a joint unit. I'm extremely proud of this young man, as he truly is going to be one of our future leaders of higher platforms."