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Airman promoted in midst of earthquake relief

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director at Joint Task Force-Haiti and Air Forces Southern vice commander, administers the oath of enlistment to Tech. Sgt. Diane Brown, during an impromptu promotion ceremony.  The ceremony was attended by members of the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center and the Joint Personnel Recovery Center where Sergeant Brown works in support of Operation Unified Response.  (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. C. Straw)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director at Joint Task Force-Haiti and Air Forces Southern vice commander, administers the oath of enlistment to Tech. Sgt. Diane Brown, during an impromptu promotion ceremony. The ceremony was attended by members of the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center and the Joint Personnel Recovery Center where Sergeant Brown works in support of Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. C. Straw)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director at Joint Task Force-Haiti and Air Forces Southern vice commander, speaks to a crowd of supporters before an impromptu promotion ceremony for Tech. Sgt. Diane Brown.  The ceremony was attended by members of the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center and the Joint Personnel Recovery Center where Sergeant Brown works in support of Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. C. Straw)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director at Joint Task Force-Haiti and Air Forces Southern vice commander, speaks to a crowd of supporters before an impromptu promotion ceremony for Tech. Sgt. Diane Brown. The ceremony was attended by members of the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center and the Joint Personnel Recovery Center where Sergeant Brown works in support of Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. C. Straw)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director at Joint Task Force-Haiti and Air Forces Southern vice commander, speaks to a crowd of supporters before an impromptu promotion ceremony for Tech. Sgt. Diane Brown.  The ceremony was attended by members of the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center and the Joint Personnel Recovery Center where Sergeant Brown works in support of Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. C. Straw)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director at Joint Task Force-Haiti and Air Forces Southern vice commander, speaks to a crowd of supporters before an impromptu promotion ceremony for Tech. Sgt. Diane Brown. The ceremony was attended by members of the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center and the Joint Personnel Recovery Center where Sergeant Brown works in support of Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. C. Straw)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- When Staff Sgt. Diane Brown stepped into the Joint Task Force-Haiti Joint Operation Center this morning, she knew she'd reached a career milestone. Today, her line number for Technical Sergeant was in the group to be promoted. The fact that she was to be promoted in the midst of assisting the people of Haiti during Operation Unified Response made the event all the more rewarding.

"I've missed every one of my promotion ceremonies because of deployment, work or other reasons," said Staff Sgt. Brown, deployed to JTF-Haiti from 1st Air Force's Rescue Coordination Center.

"I'll never forget how I was here doing my job to help the people of Haiti when the whole team recognized me....I was really surprised at the gesture," she said.

To add a special touch to the occasion, Sgt. Brown's supervisor approached Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the Air Component Coordination Element director and Air Forces Southern vice commander, to officiate the ceremony.

"It was a pleasure and honor to recognize a fellow Airman," said General Burke. "It's important -- even during this extremely busy operation -- to take time to mark the achievements of our newly promoted Airmen. She deserves to be proud of this day."

While in Haiti the newly promoted Tech. Sgt. Brown works in the Joint Personnel Recovery Center within the JTF-Haiti Joint Operations Center. She's been in Haiti since Jan. 28th, and was working on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson with the Navy for approximately a week prior to moving ashore.

During her 11-year career, Sgt. Brown has deployed several times. Sgt. Brown credits her mother for assisting in child care and providing constant encouragement to help her continue to serve.

"My mother is the one who makes all this possible," she said. "I wish she was here to share this moment, but I'm always thinking of her....I miss you mom!"

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