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Command Chief Warrant Officer 5 Eric Seymore mentors Airmen of the 169th Student Flight

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jorge E. Intriago
  • 169th Fighter WIng Public Affairs
The last South Carolina Army National Guardsman to serve in the Vietnam War spoke to the newest South Carolina Air Guard members here Nov. 2, offering advice on managing a military career.

U.S. Army Command Chief Warrant Officer 5 Eric Seymore visited the 169th Fighter Wing to mentor newly enlisted Airmen of the 169th Student Flight. Seymore, whose career has spanned more than four decades and is the last S.C. guardsman to serve in the Vietnam War, was invited to speak as part of leadership studies for the 169th Student Flight and inspire the next generation of Swamp Fox Airmen.

"What an awesome opportunity to have an active serving Vietnam veteran to speak to the Student Flight," said Capt. Amber Goodman Student Flight officer in charge.

Seymore came in fast and low and engaged the new troops by asking them what careers fields they were going into and compared them to similar professions in the Army. He explained how warrant officers would fit into career progression if it were still part of the Air Force rank structure. Seymore then discussed how someone becomes a warrant officer in the Army and his experiences since 1970, when he was 18 years old.

"Basic training was different. You weren't given an option to go back home if things got tough," said Seymore. "We were cowboys back then. I was an aircraft commander at the age of 19. Times have changed from then to now on how we fly."

Seymore further explained that young Soldiers and Airmen today are more educated and have learned from a young age to use and live in a technology-driven environment. This skillset is very desirable when considering how modern weapons systems have become more advanced in such a short period of time.

When asked, what is a major difference from back then to now Seymore replied, "Women in Vietnam, we were integrating them in small areas. Now we are sending women to flight school."

Wrapping up his visit with the Airmen, Seymore closed with the following advice, "I might not be the tallest person in the world, but with integrity and character, a person of any physical size will always succeed."