Master Sgt. Michael Cline, 345th RCS first sergeant (right), and Master Sgt. Sherica Harris, 345th RCS NCO in charge of personnel programs (left), tacks on technical sergeant stripes for Staff Sgt. Sharron Craft July 31. Craft, a 345th Recruiting Squadron operations noncommissioned officer (center), was promoted to technical sergeant through the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program. . (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Hopper)
Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, 345th Recruiting Squadron commander (left) presents Staff Sgt. Sharron Craft, 345th RCS operations noncommissioned officer, a certificate following her promotion to technical sergeant through the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program July 31. Craft had recently joined the 345th RCS after completing her tour as a 342nd RCS health professions recruiter, and was still in-processing when the surprise promotion occurred. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Hopper)
by Staff Sgt. Hillary Stonemetz
Air Force Recruiting Service
8/19/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- A non-commissioned officer assigned to the 345th Recruiting Squadron was promoted through the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., July 31.
Staff Sgt. Sharron Craft was promoted to technical sergeant during a surprise presentation by Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, 345th RCS commander. Craft was in the middle of in-processing with her new squadron when Presley ordered everyone into the squadron's conference room.
"She started yelling at everyone for being out of uniform," said Craft. "Then she singled me out. I had accidently washed my pen with my uniform the night before and it had an ink stain. I kept thinking, 'she has the eye of a tiger.' She ordered the squadron administrator to get me in uniform. My eyes got tight because I thought I was being demoted in public."
When Master Sgt. Sherica Harris, 345th RCS NCO in charge of personnel programs, and Master Sgt. Michael Cline, 345th RCS first sergeant, stepped forward with technical sergeant stripes, Craft realized what was going on.
"I've never been so happy to be yelled at," Craft said. "It was the best day of my Air Force career."
Craft enlisted in the Air Force 12 years ago and has spent the last seven years in Air Force Recruiting Service as an enlisted accessions and a line officer recruiter before becoming an operations NCO.
"Over the course of her Air Force career, Staff Sgt. Sharron Craft has displayed both work ethic and leadership that is above and beyond a typical junior NCO, and was a highly motivated and integral part of the 342nd RCS during her time here," said her previous commander, Lt. Col. Matthew Sandelier, 342nd RCS commander.
During her time with AFRS, Craft not only met, but exceeded her recruiting goals, he said. Craft out-performed her peers and earned four silver badges, a gold badge, and multiple health professions production awards.
"She is a well-rounded NCO and professional," he added. "She was able to balance her military career with being a new mother, working on earning her Community College of the Air Force degree, and volunteering hundreds of hours in the local community."
Craft dedicated her off-duty time to feeding more than 2,000 homeless people, cleaning up the beach, fundraisers for charity, working with the Salvation Army, mentoring youth, designated driver programs, renovating a Tuskegee Airmen Memorial conference room, and booster club and intramural sports, he said.
"I give people a run for their money," Craft said. "Both Lieutenant Colonel Sandelier and Lieutenant Colonel Presley have been awesome. I've never been in such good hands."