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Body building the force

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Del Oso
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2nd Lt. Michelle Smith, the 325th Comptroller Squadron’s financial operations flight commander, exemplifies the statement ‘fit to fight’ and the Air Force core value of ‘excellence in all we do’ through an intense hobby of body building.

Smith recently earned 3rd place in Wellness Division and 3rd place in the Bikini Division during the 2022 NPC/IFBB Maxfit Classic Pro/AM body building competition. Though fitness has always been one of Smith’s passions, finishing school and raising three children has been her number one priority. Things changed when she commissioned and arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base.

“I was very, very busy, and at the time the coaches were not as readily available in the area that I was in,” explained Smith. “So, I decided that once I arrived in Florida [competing] is something that I was going to commit to, I was going to wholeheartedly put in 110%.”

The art of body building is often described as a full-time job. It requires extensive physical training routines, strict diets and extreme mental discipline. These are all traits and habits that any Airman might benefit from, but working them into an already time-consuming military career can be challenging – a challenge that Smith was up to beat.

“It’s not [often] where you will get someone who really has a passion for fitness and nutrition,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Fingall, 325th Comptroller Squadron commander. “Lt. Smith is pushing our squadron and really helping the Airmen focus on their nutrition and working out with the right form and doing the right things to maintain our physical standards.”

Smith explained that many times, people don’t have a place where they feel accepted or at home and the military offers that to a lot of Airmen - If she can contribute to a safe environment, that’s what she’ll do.

“I think we all really need to help each other,” said Smith. “So, if this is something that I can give back to the other Airmen to help them, and highly encourage them along the way, that’s what I want to do.”