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NEWS | April 1, 2010

Manpower SNCO wins second straight AF award

By Mike Joseph 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

An 802nd Force Support Squadron manpower and organization section superintendent would much rather have her section recognized for its hard work and accomplishments than receive an individual award.

"It is special but I would trade it for an office award because our office worked really hard last year," said Master Sgt. R. Monique Slater about being named 2009 Air Force Manpower Senior NCO of the Year for the second time in two years.

The reaction falls in line with her commander's description about the humility of Sergeant Slater.

"She is what I would call a quiet hero, a quiet professional," said Lt. Col. Joel Jones, 802nd FSS commander. "Monique is very quiet and unassuming. She plods along, doing her job well and efficiently.

"Before you know it, she's got this stack of accomplishments," he continued. "We know she's something special to the squadron and the manpower career field."

The manpower section determines the requirements to ensure base units have the number of people to accomplish their mission and that those assets are used efficiently. Sergeant Slater oversees all base manpower studies the section conducts.

Colonel Jones describes the section as efficiency experts and process improvement specialists. He said not only has Sergeant Slater been acknowledged as a subject matter expert in her career field, she was asked to help write the specialty knowledge test for manpower.

Sergeant Slater's accomplishments don't stop after duty hours. During the award timeframe, she completed two online business courses; took a 40-hour tax training course, an Air Force training course and an eight-week leadership course; was Top III vice president during her deployment last year; served on the Lackland Independent School District board of trustees and a community homeowners association board; and taught Bible study.

To top it off, she deployed for six months last year. It's little wonder the commander said Sergeant Slater was a role model for the squadron's young Airmen.

"Hard work does get recognized," Colonel Jones said. "If you do the work and continue to maintain that level of performance, it will be recognized. Any Air Force level award is great, but this is the second year in a row. We're proud that she won."

But it still caught her off guard.

"Somebody told me that morning during physical training," Sergeant Slater said before being officially notified she'd won later that same day. "I was like, 'no, that doesn't happen. Nobody gets it two years in a row.'

"I was really surprised. It's a blessing to be recognized again, but next year it's going to be the office."