Women In Charge: 509th Medical Group leads the way!

  • Published
  • By A1C Robert E. Hicks
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

In June 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Women's Armed Service Integration Act, allowing women to serve as regular members in the armed forces, including the newly formed U.S. Air Force.

Today, 231,147 women serve in the armed forces making up around 18% of the military’s active-duty force.

The Air Force’s active-duty force includes 69,728 total women, 1,025 of whom are pilots. In just 76 years, women have entered many traditionally male-dominated career fields in the military, serving as commanders, senior enlisted leaders, and Airmen alike.

The 509th Medical Group at Whiteman Air Force Base is lead by two such women, Col. Sandra Nestor and Chief Master Sgt. Amanda Frampton, the commander and senior enlisted leader respectively, who oversee 167 Airmen from 33 different career fields.

They said having the opportunity to oversee and mentor the next generation of Airmen means a lot to them.

“It's really a privilege and an honor to be in the positions that we're in and I don't take it lightly,” said Nestor. “It always surprises me how big of an impact you can have on airmen’s lives.”

As Air Force leaders, they are responsible for the organization, training and equipping of, and setting standards for their Airmen.

In the medical career field, that means they are also responsible for the lives of Airmen and their families, providing life-saving treatments and medical care for Team Whiteman.

It’s from this mindset that Frampton sets the foundation for her Airmen, always trying to encourage and support them, ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed.“It’s important to set the standard for your troops,” she said. “It's accountability, its communication, its transparency, all of it sets the grounds for the kind of leader you want to be.”

However, Nestor and Frampton also had leadership that inspired them and helped them become the leaders they are today.

“General Hogg, the first female Air Force Surgeon General, really blazed a path for us,” said Nestor. “Watching others and what they accomplished opened my eyes, like ‘Oh wow, I guess I could do that too.’”

Frampton had some discipline problems early in her career and was facing involuntary separation from the Air Force.

“My senior master sergeant sat me down and put her boot up my butt to set that path straight for me,” she said. “She fought for me so I could stay in the Air Force and remain in my career field.”

By learning from her mistakes and being encouraged by her leadership, Frampton remained in the Air Force and attained the highest possible enlisted rank, a stark difference from how her time in the Air Force began.

Nestor and Frampton are an example of the various positive impacts women have had on the Air Force, truly proving that diversity makes us a stronger, more capable force.

"In celebrating Women's History Month, we honor Col. Nestor and Chief Master Sgt. Frampton as more than just leaders—they are beacons of inspiration, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of women in the 509th Medical Group,” said Master Sgt. Victor Hernandez, 509th MDG first sergeant. “Their impact transcends titles, igniting a legacy of empowerment and excellence that resonates throughout our organization and beyond."

Their leadership of the 509th medical group ensures Airmen are always ready to and capable of taking on any challenge presented, supporting Whiteman’s mission to deliver global strike anytime…anywhere!