Getting to know the AFIMSC Director of Personnel and Manpower

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s Director of Personnel and Manpower began his Air Force career as a NAF summer hire at what was then Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Steve Reichert was hired as a lifeguard in May 1987 while attending college at nearby Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State. Almost 37 years later he finds himself leading AFIMSC’s A1 Directorate. The directorate advises senior leaders on organizational actions, human capital strategies, workforce training and development, and civilian and military personnel policies and procedures. A1 plays a significant role in establishing manning levels and organizational structures for the forces assigned and attached to the center.

We asked a few questions about his life, career and thoughts about joining the AFIMSC team. 

How long have you served in the Air Force? 

I’ve served almost 37 years. I intended to join the Air Force as an officer and hopefully be a combat controller or pararescue after earning my degree. I learned a lot about the career fields by watching them train at the swimming pools, and occasionally I would get a chance to train with them,” Reichert said. 

Soon after graduating, Reichert discovered he hadn’t thought the plan through. The Air Force was not offering commissions for non-technical degrees. So, the San Antonio native accepted a job running one of the fitness centers on Lackland. 

My initial plan was to do that until something better came along,” Reichert said. “I’ve had opportunities to make more money and do other things, but something about the Air Force culture made me stay. So here I am more than three decades later, still happy and proud to be a civilian Airman.” 

Can you please tell us a little about your career? 

Working at Lackland, Reichert climbed the ranks to become the director of base Fitness and Sports, a significant job at Lackland with its six fitness centers, a robust sports program, and a staff of more than 50 people. That experience led to his hiring as Fitness and Sports Program Manager for USAFE-AFAFRICA from 2012 to 2014. 

Working at headquarters Services expanded my horizons and broadened my job jar. At the end of the tour, I realized what I really liked was helping people. I cross-trained into the people business by applying for a position at the Air Force Personnel Center. That opportunity was the springboard for my career,” he said. 

Ultimately, he became Deputy Director of Personnel Support at AFPC. A few years later, he returned to USAFE as the Director of Personnel, and upon his return stateside, he was selected as the Deputy Director of Manpower, Personnel and Services for the Air Force Special Operations Command in Florida.  

Another great location and organization, and an amazing team, but Texas was calling me home and returning to mission support was too tempting. So here I am, right where I was meant to be,” Reichert said. 

What about your new role has you the most excited? 

“Having spent most of my career in the support world, it feels natural for me to work in an organization that’s focused on providing unmatched installation and mission support,” he said. 

What do you want the AFIMSC team to know about you? 

I am a people-focused, responsive enterprise leader with an approachable demeanor. I am also driven to improve both personally and professionally.” 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 

Most people assume I am a retired or former military member.  I’m not sure if it’s because of my position or appearance, or because of the way I conduct myself, but I take it as a huge compliment.” 

What do you like most about serving in the Air Force? 

The people are what I like most about serving in the Air Force. When you grow up in the Air Force, you come to realize how much of a family we are. The common bond that exists between us is amazing, and once you’ve experienced it, you never want to leave it.” 

Is there anything you’d like to add? 

As a career civilian who started as an NF-1 summer hire in 1987, the fact my career path exists is amazing. It’s just wonderful, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone try to emulate it. There are far easier and better ways,” he said.