JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
Determination is a valuable quality for any Air Force
security forces member and for Senior Airman Dustin Southichack, 902nd Security
Forces Squadron entry controller, boxing only reinforces that characteristic in
his military and civilian pursuits.
Southichack said he fell in love with boxing shortly after
joining the Air Force Reserves 6 years ago, and plans to pursue both as
lifelong careers. Southichack has competed on the Air Force Boxing Team since
2012, and his goals include retiring from the Air Force Reserves and becoming a
boxing world champion.
“I’ve experienced a
lot of support from my unit and the other members of the Air Force Boxing
Team,” Southichack said. “I work hard on my Air Force and boxing careers and my
fellow defenders are often the ones to cheer me on.”
Though boxing and Air Force training remain separate most
months of the year, Southichack said boxing lends itself to performing his
security forces duties.
“Boxing gives me a stronger mindset,” he said. “If I’m given
a task, what I've learned in boxing contributes to my level of determination to successfully accomplish
that task. It also helps me with one on one communication with those coming
through the gates.”
After training Southichack for the past five years, Steven
Franco, his Air Force Boxing Team and off-season coach, said his work ethic has
remained constantly driven.
“I’ve taught him to give his all during every training
session and to try to make each day a good day,” Franco said. “He’s one of
those people who tries to better themselves in everything he does and gives 100
percent to any task.”
Southichack had both military and martial arts influences
while growing up in the San Antonio area. His mother was in the Army until her
medical discharge due to an injury. Later on, his older brother joined the Air
Force, and a year later Southichack followed suit. Southichack and his brother
also shared Tai Kwon Do practice as children, which he said has helped him excel
“I wanted to join the military for the structure and
reliability of the career, especially after seeing it work for my mother and
brother,” he said. “I have friends on the civilian and Air Force side that also
box and inspire me to push myself to train.”
Southichack’s training schedule includes boxing in the
morning and 3.5-mile runs at night at least six days a week. He said he plans
to use that training in future Air Force Boxing Team matches and during his
upcoming pro debut Jan. 12.
“Even though this fight is on my own time, I’ll be
representing the Air Force Boxing Team and utilizing all the training I’ve
received from them over the years,” he said.