Getting personal: Airman among an elite dozen
Stars and Stripes June 20, 2007
Master Sgt. Sachiko Jones was already busy being a single mother and working in lodging management. Yet, the 13-year Air Force member felt she had to do more.
So, while stationed at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, last year she volunteered at the Abilene Restitution Center, which affords criminals a second chance instead of prison time. Then, when she moved to RAF Alconbury, she became involved with the Girl Scouts as well as several other organizations on base.
Her community service, along with her leadership skills and job performance, helped her secure a spot in the 2007 Outstanding Airmen of the Year lineup last week. The 423rd Services Squadron airman, from Maple Hill, N.C., said it was an honor to be chosen as one of the 12 airmen and thought her accomplishment shows the quality of airmen who come from the services job field.
“We are part of the fight. We support the mission,” said Jones, who just left a management position at the Britannia Inn to become the squadron’s services superintendent.
In September, Jones and the others will be presented with awards during the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C.
How do you feel being one of the top enlisted members in the Air Force? I’m ecstatic. It’s really overwhelming right now.
Was there one thing that helped you stand out among the rest? It was a total package concept, and that’s what I presented — not just community service or coming to work. I work long hours and [have] lots of dedication, so personal time is almost out the window.
Are there any special duties that come with being an airman of the year? We will sit on the Air Force Association’s enlisted advisory council for one year beginning in September. It involves different policies and changes that will affect the Air Force as a whole.
So you can actually provide input to change uniforms and equipment, among other things? We can offer input to the Enlisted Performance Reports for instance. That’s our evaluation system.
Since you basically represent the enlisted side of the Air Force, how do you feel about that responsibility? It is a lot of responsibility, but I am looking forward to the challenge.
Are your supervisors expecting a lot from you now? They expect more, but they also support me and provide me with the adequate tools so I can be successful. I have to maintain my professionalism at all times because now others will emulate me.