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NEWS | June 21, 2007

AFPC senior NCO named one of service’s 12 Outstanding Airmen

By Robert Goetz 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

What started out as a routine morning quickly turned into an unforgettable one last week for one senior NCO at the Air Force Personnel Center. 

Senior Master Sgt. Tammy Brangard-Hern and other Team Randolph members there received an e-mail on June 13 from Maj. Gen. Anthony Przybyslawski, AFPC commander, saying he would make a special announcement outside at 10:15 a.m. She thought it might be about changes at the personnel center. 

"He started by saying he's been a commander for 11 years and was never able to announce this honor," said Sergeant Brangard-Hern. "Then he announced we were fortunate to have our own Airman of the Year from the personnel center." 

The minutes that followed seem like a blur now to Sergeant Brangard-Hern, who was accorded the celebrity treatment after the general said the Air Force had selected her as one of 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2007. 

"There were 600 to 700 people waiting to shake my hand," she said. "It was a fantastic morning." 

Sergeant Brangard-Hern, superintendent of AFPC's Assignment Policy and Procedures Branch, said she was fortunate to win at each level - from division to the Air Force District of Washington - en route to the prestigious award. The process began with her nomination by her former supervisor, Col. Wendy Campo, chief of the personnel center's Airman Assignment Division. 

"It was like a big snowball," she said. "It was amazing I made it all the way through."
Sergeant Brangard-Hern's current supervisor, Letty Inabinet, was not the least bit amazed. 

"I was extremely excited, but not surprised whatsoever," she said. "You know when someone is deserving." 

Ms. Inabinet, chief of the Assignment Policy and Procedures Branch, called Sergeant Brangard-Hern "the epitome of personnel." 

"She's very customer-friendly, and she'll go the extra mile," she said. 

Ms. Inabinet said Sergeant Brangard-Hern is also blessed with the gift of foresight. 

"She's a visionary," she said. "She has the ability to look 10 years down the road. That's a very rare quality - especially with the changes occurring." 

Sergeant Brangard-Hern, whose resume includes a lengthy list of accomplishments at AFPC, is playing an instrumental role in the Personnel Services Delivery Transformation, the technology-based initiative that will give Airmen the ability to take care of their routine personnel transactions without such inconveniences as waiting in line, said Ms. Inabinet. The system provides self-service for servicemembers in the areas of personal information, benefits, learning management, time reporting, payroll and compensation, and careers. 

Though Airman of the Year is a singular award, Sergeant Brangard-Hern gives credit to those around her. 

"I attribute my success to the opportunities given to me by my supervisors and to the support of my peers," she said. "It's a team thing." 

The sergeant said the support of her husband, Greg, a retired Air Force master sergeant, was equally important. He will accompany her to Washington, D.C., in September when she receives her award during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition. 

"He sacrificed so much to let me be a part of the things that I was involved in," she said. "He was like a rock, and he carries a full load as well." 

Part of that load includes rearing five teenagers: Katie, Kelsey, twins Meaghan and Michael, and Zachary. 

Sergeant Brangard-Hern, a Baton Rouge, La., native, enlisted in the Air Force after graduating from high school in 1988 and quickly found her niche. 

"I went to see a recruiter, and we went through the whole career list, " she said. "I was offered a job in personnel. It was absolutely the right match for me." 

Her first duty assignment was with the 2nd Mission Support Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La. After serving in a variety of military personnel flight positions, she was then chosen for the Air Combat Command staff at Langley AFB,Va., in April 1996. Later that year, she was reassigned to Ran-dolph as a member of AFPC's enlisted retraining team and, two years later, moved to the Airman Assignments Division, where she managed 26 career fields. 

Her next assignment came in June 2004, when she became superintendent of the Relocations, Employments and Readiness Section at Kunsan AFB, Korea. Afterward, she was reassigned to AFPC to lead enlisted assignment transformation and training programs. 

Sergeant Brangard-Hern now trains 90 assignment NCOs and functional managers as they continue the personnel center's transition to the Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System, which will incorporate the personnel information of all Department of Defense services. 

The sergeant said the personnel team is responsible for 90,000 assignments per year but is committed to an equitable system. 

"Helping people is what we do," she said. "That's what we strive for every day. We keep it fair and equitable, and folks go when it's their turn." 

The senior NCO's interpersonal skills and tireless ways extend beyond her job at AFPC. She leads the 250-member AFPC Top 3 Association, spearheading community projects and fundraising events, and is active at her church and in other organizations. She is also seeking a bachelor's degree in human resource management at Wayland Baptist University. 

Sergeant Brangard-Hern has earned the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.