Two individuals from the 14th Medical Group earned Air Force level Awards for their hard work in 2017.
They worked hard to be the best of the best in the Air Force with Capt. Jennifer Arce, former 14th MDG Clinical Medicine Flight Commander, who won the Air Force level Company Grade Officer Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award and Senior Airman Gabrielle Achuff, an Aerospace and Operational Physiology technician, who won the Air Force level AOP Airman of the Year.
Each individual made the effort to perform their duties to the highest degree they could, overcoming their own obstacles and exemplifying what it means to be an Airman.
Capt. Jennifer Arce, now the 336th Medical Group Urgent Care Center element chief, received orders from Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi around the same time she earned the Air Force level Company Grade Officer Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award.
As the Flight Commander of Flight Medicine, then Flight Commander of Clinical Medicine, she was the sole nurse in charge of executing patient care operations for fliers, active duty, retirees and family members.Arce also had more than 15 airmen she managed within one flight.
“As a mother of three very busy children and a flight commander of more than 15 people I try and keep my days organized and planned as well as I can,” Arce said. “Honestly keeping a routine is difficult in the chaos of being a mother and Airman. The key to staying focused for me is to prioritize my time as much as possible as things arise.”
Awards are won by Airmen who set the example for their peers and try to bring those around them up as well.
“I do not do what I do to win awards, I simply work hard at the things I believe in and set my goals towards that. I was a civilian nurse for 10 years prior to becoming active duty and I believe I worked just as hard if not harder to make my patients lives better,” she said. “It is not an award that motivates me, it is patients and the people around me that motivate me to be better every day.”
She impacted many of her airmen at Columbus AFB, showing them what it meant to strive towards “Excellence in All We Do”, mentioned Staff Sgt. Kathleen Staples 14th MDG Flight Medicine Clinic NCO in-charge.
There is room for everyone to grow, professionally and personally; Airmen always strive for excellence. Even with a finite amount of awards given out in a single year, everyone has the ability to win.
"I do not think you have to do everything, but I believe you have to do your best at what you are doing. Know what you are good at and strive to be better, and last but not least learn from your mistakes,” Arce said. “We all make mistakes, some are big, some are small, but I believe if we learn from our mistakes they only make us better.”
Because of her strength, attitude, and determination to bring everyone to their potential, Arce earned her Company Grade Officer Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award.
“Capt Arce is truly a transformation leader. She inspires everyone around her to work harder, not because she demands it, but because seeing her example fills you with pride knowing that the Air Force has people like her in it,” Staples said. “Even when her husband was deployed for 6 months, she was an amazing mother, the first one in the clinic and the last one out, supervised several individuals, and still excelled in her work performance and physical standards. She is an Airman everyone should want to emulate.”
Our 14th MDG: Senior Airman Gabrielle Achuff
Senior Airman Gabrielle Achuff, the Aerospace and Operational Physiology technician, who won the Air Force level AOP Airman of the Year, was stationed at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi for the last few years.
Her hard work has earned her a number of awards, at all kinds of levels within the Air Force, notably earning Airman of the Year at the 14th Flying Training Wing in January.
“I’m task oriented, if I want something done it will get done,” Achuff said. “I also want to make sure the Airmen around me see that whatever I’m doing is how their supposed to do things to set an example for them.”
The AOP flight as a whole has won back to back Best AOP Flight awards with Achuff on the team. She doesn’t work hard for the awards she said, she believes in her job and wants to work hard no matter what her task is that day.
“I’m second in charge of overseeing new Airmen in my section, I keep records for pilots and make sure it’s complete so they can fly, I help operate chamber flights and teach a number of classes to incoming pilots,” she said.
Airman Troy Powell, Aerospace and Operational Physiology technician was an airmen she mentored when he arrived in 2017.
“Getting here it was me trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing here,” Powell said. “She took me under and showed me how to do things and set me on a good path to success. She works hard, she makes sure everything is done correctly. I strive to be the Airman she is.”
With the handful of years in the Air Force that she has, her flight commander Maj. Eric Chase, said she works very hard alongside the other Airmen in their flight. He pushes his airmen to be the best they can be every day and said he is glad they performed well enough to earn the awards they had during 2017.
“It’s cool to be recognized, but I never think to myself I’m going to win an award today,” she said. “I don’t always understand why they put me up for awards; I do my job and I try to do it well, and make sure I do additional duties I enjoy.”