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Airman fosters resiliency on the mat

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Breanna Carter
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

No matter what course a person chooses in life, there will always be obstacles to overcome. One particular F.E. Warren Air Force Base senior NCO joined the Air Force wrestling team eight years ago. He was in his late 20s, older than most wrestlers, and continued to work hard with limited resources.


Severin qualified at the Armed Forces Wrestling Championship to represent the Air Force at the Senior Greco-Roman World team trials in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 29.


When Master Sgt. Sherwin Severin, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron flight chief, is not wrestling he is in charge of the overall supervision of his flight personnel. He has pushed against the odds, not having as much time to train as other branches, to balance the sport he enjoys with the career he loves just as much.


Severin's love for wrestling began in high school and continued to grow over the years.


"It became a passion because it’s a challenge where you never truly feel fulfilled," Severin said. "No matter what you accomplish, you feel you can do better and keep pushing to overcome the next challenge. I feel like this applies to me as a wrestler and my role in the military."


Severin said he feels that being involved in an extracurricular activity is important for every Airman to maintain a healthy balance in life.


"Even before I started wrestling again, it's always been important for me to be involved in something that pushes me physically, mentally and spiritually," Severin said.


Floyd Winters, Air Force Wrestling head coach, says that Severin has handled many challenges along the way in his wrestling career.


"He has an extremely great work ethic," Winters said. "He trains year-round and because of his job he even missed the first six weeks of training camp. Regardless, he continues to put in the effort to be a great wrestler."


The Florida native has over 50 Airmen to lead and chooses to use what he's learned from wrestling to make him a better mentor.


"It's no good for me to just do this for myself, I need to bring something back to those that I lead," Severin said. "I have Airmen that want to do extracurricular activities, and it’s important that I use my experience to help them overcome work and personal barriers so they can get to where they want to be. Also, in wrestling, you learn to fine tune your skills and know your strengths, which carries over into my role in leading these Airmen."


Senior Airman Brandon Johnson, fellow Air Force Wrestling team member from Fairchild Air Force Base, said Severin is a great leader.


"Whether it's helping with technique or just motivating, he goes above and beyond for the other Airmen on the team," Johnson said.


Severin mentioned that it's important as an Airman to match personal goals with professional goals.


"It's important for Airmen to accomplish their personal goals, because that will have a positive impact on the Air Force," Severin said. "When you succeed, the Air Force succeeds, which in turn will provide you more opportunities to do the things you want. It's about maintaining balance between your work and personal life."


The career defender also said it’s important for Airman to understand that with anything they do they're going to experience bumps in the road.


"When I experience a loss, I have a choice. I can feel defeated and entertain negative thoughts or I can figure out what I need to work on and continue to strive to be better."


Severin said that this translates into every aspect of a person's life and it's important to push through when experiencing a challenge.


"My advice to anyone that experiences a loss or setback would be to stay positive, don't listen to the nay sayers and never utter the words ‘I can't’," said Severin. "How bad you want it will determine the effort that you put in."


Severin says he has no plans to stop wrestling anytime soon and continues to strive for excellence in every area of his life.


"My goals are to be successful in wrestling and continue to make rank," said Severin. "Also I want to continue leading Airmen. My victories come from seeing them succeed personally and professionally. You only really fail when you stop trying."