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Gunfighter recognized as one of the Air Force's Outstanding Airmen

  • Published
  • By by Staff Sgt. Roy Lynch III
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Since its inception in 1956, the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year award has recognized superior Airmen for their leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.

This year Mountain Home Air Force Base has the pleasure of recognizing one of our own Airmen, Staff Sergeant Lindsey Fuentes, 366th Medical Support Squadron biomedical maintenance equipment technician.

Col. David Iverson, Commander, 366th Fighter Wing, lauded Fuentes' service to the nation.

"Because of the outstanding efforts of men and women like Staff Sgt. Fuentes, the 366th Fighter Wing is successful at providing combat power to fight and win our Nation's wars," Iverson said.

Raised in Peachland, North Carolina, Fuentes enlisted in September 2008 to serve her country and to complete her education.

Fuentes was shocked when she heard the Air Force selected her as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen for 2015.

Fuentes humbly remarked it was an award in itself just to be submitted.

"This award is a reflection of my co-workers, leadership, and the whole Medical Group," she said.

Col. Andrew Moore, Commander, 366th Medical Group, is proud of Fuentes' accomplishments as a Gunfighter.

"NCO's like Staff Sgt. Fuentes are what make the backbone of our Air Force," Moore said. "I couldn't be prouder to serve with her."

One specific accomplishment stuck out in Fuentes' mind--the ability to execute multiple roles in the shop during a time of decreased manning.

"I was constantly looking for ways to improve processes," Fuentes said, "because those [processes] lead to saving time, which proved to be very valuable [in times of reduced manning]."

Not only was Fuentes enhancing her work area, but she was applying her experiences to develop fellow Airmen as well.

"Opportunities such as Airmen Leadership School class leader and my volunteer efforts were challenging," Fuentes said. "But they really pushed me to improve in various facets of my life."

This leadership experience set her above her peers, earning her the John L. Levitow Award. This award is given to the student who has displayed all the characteristics of an effective leader and fostered teamwork within the ALS class.

The John L. Levitow was not the only award she received in 2014.  She also earned the 12th Air Force Junior Enlisted Professional of the Year and the Air Combat Command Airman of the Year; and her efforts helped the 366th Medical Group earn the ACC Best Hospital of the Year award.

Fuentes continued setting the example by completing 15 semester hours and obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management.
She didn't stop there.

Fuentes completed her 7-level upgrade training eight months ahead of schedule while volunteering and leading multiple food drives both on and off base.

Now that she's received one of the Air Force's highest recognitions, is Fuentes' taking a break?  Not even close.

"I would definitely be interested in becoming a professional military education instructor," Fuentes said. "Also, I'm considering commissioning and starting my master's degree in business."

Fuentes is thankful to the many people who have guided her on the path to this honor.

"I couldn't do my job without the great people that I work with every day."