Adriana Alfaro is a first-year member of the Eagles Cheerleaders. Prior to joining the squad, she served 13 years active duty in the Air Force. She is currently employed at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Adriana earned a B.S. in Human Resource Management and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in the Air Force?
A: "During my senior year of high school, I was still very undecided on a career path. I wanted to do everything and anything, which made me feel unfocused and overwhelmed. At the same time, I happened to do exceptionally well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. It was the first time I considered military service as an option. I figured that if I let the military tell me what to do, I wouldn't have to decide for myself immediately. I knew the Air Force offered great technical training and numerous benefits. I could pick up valuable skills and continue my education while exploring career options. Although I initially enlisted in the Air Force because of what it could do for me, I stayed for 13 years because of what I could give back."
Q: What were some of your assignments in the Air Force?
A: "I've definitely had some rewarding and unique assignments. My technical school was in Mississippi, where I was also part of the student drill team. I attended a leadership academy in Alabama and had additional training and assignments in Guam, Germany, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. While stationed in Texas, I was selected to serve on the base honor guard, providing military funeral honors and ceremonies. I also supported a combat-ready search and rescue squadron in Iceland for two years."
Q: What aspect of your military career are you the proudest of accomplishing?
A: "Knowing my hard work through the years directly contributed to the success of the missions I supported gave me a tremendous amount of pride. I was able to make a positive impact not only within the organizations I was assigned to, but within the lives of my fellow airmen and their families. It was also through those accomplishments that I was able to set the example and inspire five of my siblings and numerous cousins to enlist in the military."
Q: What is the best lesson you learned in the military?
A: "I learned to be very independent when I was growing up, but what I quickly realized in the military was that just because I could do something on my own didn't mean I should. It was more than just the concept of teamwork. It was learning that obtaining support from others didn't make me weak and that sharing my expertise could cultivate personal growth while also strengthening the unit as a whole. Because how much would my individual successes matter if I let others around me fail?"
Q: How did your military background help you prepare to become an Eagles Cheerleader?
A: "My time in the Air Force helped me further appreciate the value of patience and discipline in everything I do. I learned how to be a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as I could from my leaders and in turn lead others by example. I often had to adapt quickly to challenging situations and gained confidence in myself and my abilities. All of that helped me along the way to becoming an Eagles Cheerleader – from the determination and focus it took for the audition process to the present where we continue to adapt to an unprecedented season. Whether an Airman or an Eagles Cheerleader, it means being part of a team and always giving my best."
For the first time in team history, auditions for the Eagles Cheer Team were conducted virtually. Following the audition process, eight new members were selected to the 2020 squad. Get to know them, as well as the 30 returning veterans from the 2019 team!