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Sheppard NCO named AF "Personnel Technician of the Year"

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The tables were turned on Staff Sgt. Ana Aguirre Dec. 3 when she found out she was the Air Force Personnel Technician of the Year.

The assistant NCO in charge of the commander's support staff at the 80th Flying Training Wing said she isn't used to being on this side of the process. A portion of her job is to let wing members know when they are eligible for awards or decorations.

"They told me they put me in for NCO of the year at the wing level, but they didn't tell me it was going higher than that," she said of her supervisors' covert agenda. "It was a nice surprise."

Second Lt. Courtney Killian, flight commander of the support staff, described the staff sergeant as "the heartbeat of the office," and said she wasn't surprised that Sergeant Aguirre was named the winner in her category.

One of Sergeant Aguirre's accomplishments included volunteering for a deployment to work at the largest Personnel Support for Contingency Operations facility, at a deployed location in Southwest Asia. While there, she maintained 100 percent accountability for more than 32,500 military members serving in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa.

A fear most military members have when they deploy is the work that's being left behind for others to do. Sergeant Aguirre ensured there wouldn't be delays with enlisted and officer performance reports by creating them five months ahead of schedule.

"I work hard at my job," she said. "I do what I have to do."

But the award was just as much about what she did in her down time. She  volunteered to participate in the Wounded Warrior Program where she spent time with patients to help lift their morale.

The 10-year Air Force veteran said she is very focused on helping others out and providing support that is needed and deserved. Putting a smile on someone else's face and ensuring they get recognition is the reward she said she is looking for.

Lieutenant Killian said that drive and determination will win over every time.

"I think that's her challenge," the lieutenant said. "She has a lot to live up to."

Sergeant Aguirre said she will continue doing what she's been doing as she prepares to "defend" her title as the best in her category -- focus on the accomplishments of others.
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