JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
A 59th Medical Wing Airman's personal commitment, hard work and her dedication to her unit's success, was recognized as she was chosen as one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2017.
"I honestly don't feel like I deserved all that," Senior Airman Moore, 59th MWD medical technician said. "So many Airmen work so hard everyday, many of which go unnoticed. I really feel blessed for having great leadership putting in (application packets) for me."
An Air Force selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center considered 36 nominees from major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies and Headquarters Air Force. The board selected the final 12 Airmen based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements. Moore was one of the 12 Airmen.
Opting to forgo a partial academic scholarship to the College of Charleston and the student loan burden that would follow, Moore became the first member of her family to wear the Air Force uniform and serve her country.
Listing benefits such as travel, education, and the wide variety of experiences available in the Air Force, the native from Myrtle Beach, S.C. went to a local recruiter and began her journey as an Airman.
Originally drawn to being a paralegal, Moore enlisted as a medic. She arrived at basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, remaining in San Antonio through her technical training. As her first duty assignment, Moore currently works at the 59th MDW urgent care department.
While working at the 59th MDW, Moore attended the medical wing’s Gateway Academy. The center provides instruction on innovative problem solving techniques, inspires people to challenge the status quo, and teaches leadership skills that foster empowerment, trust, and respect.
“During my time in the internal medicine clinic, I was able to take what I learned in the Gateway (Academy) and improve an injection process for pneumonia in elderly patients,” she said. “Through the process improvement adjustments, we saved over $70,000. That sort of jump-started my success story, I guess.”
The budding 59th MDW star was recognized as the wing’s Airman of the Quarter shortly before taking her talents overseas for her first deployment. Moore continued to excel while in Southwest Asia, being selected to serve as the command chief’s executive assistant for part of her tour while serving as a deployed medic.
“The best experience of my career so far, by far, was my deployment,” she said. “Not that you want to see trauma, but being able to help in desperate situations was just a different experience. There were blast injuries, gunshot wounds, and I was able to really use my training in a hands-on environment.”
In a defining moment during the medic’s deployment, Moore was preparing for another day at her medical facility when she heard a sound she will never forget.
“On (Nov. 12), we had a suicide attack on base. I got up that morning like any other day, just getting dressed in the bathroom, doing my hair, and then boom,” she said. “All these alarms started going off and we went to the hospital as all these patients started rushing in screaming, ‘ground attack!’ We were trying to do patient care while geared up with weapons, and everything was just very chaotic. Then they had people on base shooting, while we were trying to save lives and you just do whatever you have to at the moment. It sounds like it was a terrible experience, but I can’t wait to go back and deploy again.”
Moore switched from internal medicine to the urgent care unit shortly after returning to San Antonio from deployment. She credits her deployment experience for her preparation for daily emergency response.
As one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, Moore will now attend various events, representing the Air Force and her 59th MDW family, throughout the next year.
“This is all really crazy,” she said. “I’m just a country girl, daddy’s girl, from South Carolina who likes to be outside riding dirt bikes, four-wheelers and fishing. But, I’m just very thankful. This is great.”