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In Focus: Airman 1st Class Ethan Wilson

Airman 1st Class Ethan Wilson, Air Force reservist in the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Airman 1st Class Ethan Wilson, Air Force reservist in the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Erica Webster)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Like many Airmen, having a veteran in the family inspired Airman 1st Class Ethan Wilson to join the Air Force Reserve.

“My grandpa told me how he served in the Reserve after active duty, and it made me want to do the same thing,” Wilson said. “The Reserve is a good fit because I recently got married and wanted to stay local for my future family.”

The Utah native, 23, now serves in the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as a “weapons guy,” loading bombs and missiles onto F-35s. 

Serving in the Air Force Reserve isn’t the only thing he shared in common with his grandpa. Also passed along to Wilson is a knack for painting. His grandpa learned by watching Bob Ross – also an Air Force veteran – and Wilson has painted 20 to 30 nature scenes in that style.

“I love nature, and all the outdoor things to do here in Utah,” Wilson said. “I enjoy hunting and fishing in Monte Cristo or the Uintas.”

Having just finished seasoning training in the AMXS, Wilson is now just a month into being a full-time reservist at Hill AFB. He said his near-future goal is to develop that career.

“Weapons is a very cool job, and the boy in me gets excited to learn about weapons and have a hands-on experience with the F-35,” he said.

Farther down the road, Wilson wants to study business and become a life-flight helicopter pilot.