A dream becomes a reality

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Nia Newton is one of those Airmen who strives to accomplish any goals that she sets for herself. One of those goals has always been to use her vocal talents on the job. 

Recently, that goal became a reality, as Newton was chosen to fill one of only 32 positions on the 2013 Tops in Blue tour.

For Newton, this is more than just an opportunity; it is a childhood dream come true. Her dedication and motivation were the main reasons she came this far.
"When you pick up a microphone at five years old, you know you are going to be doing it for the rest of your life," said Newton, 509th Force Support Squadron force management representative. "Once I set my mind on something I know I can do, then I am going to get it done." 
Many of her close friends, family and co-workers have witnessed her talent and feel she will go far.

"Newton can hit high notes really well," said Airman 1st Class Sherry Ramirez, 509th FSS force management representative. "She is confident in her voice and with being on stage." 
Newton was inspired to join Tops in Blue even before she joined the Air Force.

"I was researching the band while in high school," said Newton. "I was a 'music head;' I was in show choir and already knew about premier bands in the military. My uncle told me about Tops in Blue, so I researched it and asked my recruiter about joining, but he didn't know much about it. 

"I stopped worrying about it until I came to Whiteman. I researched the band and went to audition."
 Being accepted for a position with this august Air Force band was not easy for Newton; in fact, she did not make it the first time she tried out.

"The first time around, I was just an R&B singer," she said. "You have to be successful in all genres in order to make the band. When it came time for me to compete, I was not prepared in the other genres."

Newton did not let the disappointment discourage her from trying again the following year, however.

"It is like going to BMT; you are under pressure and you have to adapt and fix things about yourself so you are more suitable for the environment," she said. "When you make things better, the MTIs see a change in you.

"That's what happened to me when I first tried out. I took those critiques, dissected everything they said, took myself apart and built myself up...I did not let my first time discourage me from my dream; I kept going."
Tops in Blue has taught Newton how to present herself more professionally in both her musical performances and the workplace. Her appreciation for what the Air Force has done for her can be expressed in many words.

"I already have a lot of respect for the Air Force and all it has done for my family and me," said Newton. "This experience will make me a better Airman because of the discipline that they make you maintain. It is like basic training on steroids, and is a big challenge not many people can meet.

"It is going to make me come back more focused, determined and not wanting to be lazy; this makes me want to do my job even better." 
The next several months are going to be quite the journey for Newton, both mentally and physically, but she is motivated to conquer the challenges she will undoubtedly face as the progresses. In the meantime, Team Whiteman can be proud that one of their own is representing them as part of such an esteemed group of professionals.