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Keesler flight chief leads by example, wins AETC award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mosness
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
There's a laundry list of accomplishments that cover the nomination package for Master Sgt. Terrance Boyd, and though these words tell the specifics Boyd did to earn the Air Education Training Command Lance P. Sijan Award, to understand the man and the way he values leadership, you have to dig a little deeper.

Boyd, 334th Training Squadron flight chief military training flight, recently won the Lance P. Sijan Award junior enlisted category for 2013. (He sewed on master sergeant July 1, 2013.)

The Sijan award recognizes the accomplishments of officers and enlisted members who have demonstrated the highest quality of leadership in the performance of their duties and their personal lives.

"Master Sgt. Boyd is the ultimate professional," said Chief Master Sgt. Glen Usherwood, 81st Mission Support Group superintendent and Boyd's former superintendent. "He is a living embodiment of the definition of an Airman. I'm a firm believer that there is only one way to lead...by example. Master Sgt. Boyd sets that example in his personal and professional life. He inspires people and makes them want to be better."

Boyd, a civil engineer electrician by trade, learned to lead by example from his first supervisor Master Sgt. Corey Lockhart.

"He was my very first boss and he taught me about being a servant leader by leading by example," explained the boisterous Boyd. "Whatever job I was on, he wasn't like well you go do it because you are an Airman, he did it as well."

The Porterville, Miss., native has taken that guidance from his first supervisor and passed it on to the Airmen he mentors as a military training leader. Boyd also believes in taking care of his Airmen no matter their actions and letting them know he is there for them, he said.

"I will always take care of the person regardless of what they did," he said as a matter of fact.

He experienced this when he was a staff sergeant and he had an Airman who had gotten into trouble. While others might have left the young Airman to fend for himself, Boyd was always there.

This resonated with the Airman who later wrote a note to Boyd expressing his appreciation.

"You have been the biggest influence in my career so far, with your guidance, leadership and kindness," the letter noted. "But you alone . . . have taught me why it is so vital to choose the right path."

The MTL chief still keeps this letter on his desk.

"You know when you are beat down and people just steadily continue to beat you down?" he described. "I took care of him. That was my first incident that made me realize that if you take care of a person regardless of what they did, that makes the difference for them."

The high standards he has for himself and small things Boyd does to go out of his way to help those around him haven't gone unnoticed by others.

"I love to watch him in action," Usherwood said. "He sets very high standards for himself and expects nothing less from others--he makes me better. He understands that people not only need to hear when they are failing to meet the standard, they need to know when they've exceeded them as well. He is very balanced and is never afraid to tell people they've done well--something that can get lost in the training environment."

Through Boyd's attention to detail and high expectations, it doesn't surprise those around him that he won the Sijan award, Usherwood added.

But it was a shock as to how he found out he had won the award. He was told by his commander in front of a crowd of about 100 people. For someone who doesn't like to be the center of attention, it had Boyd nervous about why he was on stage, the humble master sergeant said.

While Boyd was just doing his job of mentoring Airmen, he did have a few inspiring people who helped him along the way.

"My mother inspires me to be a man of honor," he said with sense of pride. "The non prior service Airmen of the 81st TRW, they inspire me by their resiliency; my wife Master Sgt. Tanya Boyd and her passion for taking care of people and being my voice of reason inspires me; and my heavenly father who keeps me spiritually, mentally, and phyiscally grounded."

Though Boyd has high standards, it doesn't mean you can't have a good time doing it, he said.
"I am always laughing," he said with a huge smile.

Boyd believes his positive attitude makes it possible for his Airmen to come to him with any problems.

"The Airmen know when you pay attention to something small that they can come to you with something big and when you fix it, that means the world to them," he added. "It is crazy how you as a person can affect people lives in such a positive and lasting way."

It's the caring for his Airmen and Boyd's attention to detail that are found after you dig deeper, past the accolades written on paper, into the core of the man and you can see why Boyd is the winner of the Sijan award.