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AFSOUTH Airman recognized as best in ACC

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs

Air Combat Command awarded a member of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) the 2015 Force Support Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year award for the  Air Reserve Component.

Senior Master Sgt. Leah Chavez, 12 AF (AFSOUTH)/A1 Contingency Plans & Operations Manager, received the award for her outstanding leadership and on–the-job performance.

From throughout 2015 Chavez was the lead personnel planner for Exercises New Horizons-Dominican Republic, Beyond the Horizons-Guatemala and several contingency and humanitarian operations throughout the U.S. Southern Command’s area of responsibility. 

During these exercises and contingencies, Chavez was responsible for ensuring deployed personnel would be able to establish 100-percent accountability of all service members assigned to their units. In one instance, she learned that a deployed unit was operating with expired meals-ready-to-eat. Chavez worked quickly to notify Air Combat Command officials and acquire the funding and resources needed to ensure all deployed members had food and could continue the mission.

Although Chavez is a rising star within 12 AF (AFSOUTH), she attributes her accomplishments to her work center.

Working in A1 is all about team work and working together to accomplish the mission at hand,” said Chavez.  “This award is definitely a team effort, I am blessed to work with people who truly care about what we do in our AOR.”

Strong leadership and mentorship also had a hand in helping Chavez reach her full potential.

“I have leadership who care about me and a supervisor that is always mentoring me to become a better leader, and for that I'm beyond grateful. I am humbled and honored to be awarded the ACC SNCO of the year for the Air Reserve Component,” added Chavez.

For Airmen looking to make an impact within their unit, Chavez recommends remembering DAN.

“The best advice I have for young airmen wanting to make an impact are summed up in three words...determination, attitude and name, or “DAN,” said Chavez.  “No matter the failures, bad days or situation, never give up and stay determined. Have a positive attitude and be determined to thrive instead of just survive. Give it your all, work as if it were your last day and most importantly remember your name. When people say your name you want the words that come after to be positive and up lifting. Make an impact today and every day with your DAN.”

Air Forces Southern is the air component to U.S. Southern Command responsible for U.S. air and space operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.