Troy University student Miguel Neavez is using his degree to positively impact the United States Air Force.
Neavez is a Nuclear and Missile Operations officer studying for his master’s degree in Strategic Communication at TROY.
He previously obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications and aerospace studies from San Diego State University.
Neavez was a part of the Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for the Air Force while studying in San Diego.
He became an active duty officer in 2019, but wasn’t sure how his studies could contribute to his duties.
“I was a little curious how someone with a communications background would go into this field, but I was given more than enough training on the technical knowledge of the job,” Neavez said.
He was awarded the No. 1 missile combat crew of the year for his unit.
Neavez states his main priority is to “oversee some of our nation’s most precious assets.”
“With that, there comes a lot of attention to detail,” Neavez said. “We rely heavily on our technical training skills, but I think one understated thing is we rely on communication.
“I was really surprised at how much my undergraduate and graduate communications skills came in handy.”
Neavez arrived at his new base in Colorado in March 2020 right before the lockdown ensued.
He said it was hard to interact with officers and form bonds under guidelines, but that was when one of his higher-ranking officers approached him with the idea of running a newsletter for his unit.
“I was a little hesitant,” Neavez said. “It’s easy to get caught up in complacency.”
After accepting, Neavez’s tasks included creating columns that focused on resilience and leadership.
“That started to make a difference,” he said. “People would get excited to read about leadership.
“I would interview some of our colonels and captains, and they would be able to talk to the unit more than they could in person.”
Neavez would make sure to include something positive in each newsletter, including how an officer can take care of their mental, emotional and physical health.
He didn’t realize that it would quickly become his passion.
“When we didn’t have that in-person interaction and morale was pretty low, [the newsletter] made a huge difference,” Neavez said.
Neavez also planned team-building events and celebrations for the officers, and enjoyed bringing smiles to their faces.
Today, he is temporarily back in the state of California but will graduate with his master’s degree in the fall.