2010 Outstanding Airmen/First Sergeant/Honor Guard Of The Year Award Winners
General Edward Rice, Air Education And Training Command commander and Chief Master Sergeant James Cody, Air Education and Training Command , command chief presents award to SMSgt Mauree C. Powell, from Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base Alabama, as First Sergeant Of The Year. Ceremony was held at the Parr Officer Club at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas on March 18.(U.S. Air Force photo/by Don Lindsey).
AETC first sergeant wins top award

by Dianne Moffett
AETC public affairs

8/9/2011 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Master Sgt. Mauree Powell said what she enjoys the most about her job is taking care of Airmen.

Powell was awarded First Sergeant of the Air Force, July 13 and currently works at the Holm Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Powell began her Air Force career in 1988. She has devoted 23 years of service and believes it takes 100 percent dedication to earn this award.

"Sergeant Powell is very professional and down to earth. She is a reflection of AETC and of the hard work all our men and women do. There is no question in my mind she has earned this level of recognition," said Air Education and Training Command's Command Chief Master Sgt. James Cody.

Powell recognizes the influence her fellow First Sergeants have had on her, "These men and women, in my mind, are a special breed... these individuals come back every day and continue to do great things for our Air Force and the communities they serve".

Balance between work and family has been important for Powell and she recalls the long hours and the times she spent away from home. She believes without balance, she would not have been selected First Sergeant of the Air Force. "There were sacrifices I had to endure to make sure my family was not neglected and the mission was supported. In turn, my family has been there with unconditional love and support."

"Balance has garnered me the support I needed from my leaders to be able to do what I love on the job: take care of Airmen, and what I love at home: take care of my family," said Powell.

When asked what advice she would give other Airmen who are starting their career in the Air Force, Powell said health -- especially physical, spiritual, mental and emotional -- is most important to taking care of yourself and being able to give 100 percent.

"I am not a one person team; I am surrounded by great people at home and work....amazing family, strong leaders and fantastic Airmen," said Powell. "Maintain a positive and professional image and never pass up an opportunity, you never know where it may lead or what doors it may open for you."

For Powell, winning First Sergeant of the Year of the Air Force could not have come at a better time in her life. "This experience has come at a point in my career that means the most to me; I love my job and I hope that it has shown by my hard work and dedication. In my younger years, I would have not appreciated all the hard work it takes to be First Sergeant," Powell said.