Award winner spends day with Command Chief

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kimberly Nagle
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 2021 Team Kirtland 5/6 Executive Council members wanted to make a change to their award program this year. After many discussions, they landed on a new Ambassador Program.

The Ambassador Program was created because the council believes that innovation is more than just technology; that a person could embody cultural and social innovation.

“Whether a positive experience at finance, or that co-worker who has changed the way you feel about coming to work, or that one Airman who constantly goes above and beyond, you can nominate any member of Team Kirtland to be a TK 5/6 Ambassador by submitting a short narrative explaining how your nominee has brought positivity and light to our Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Karina Rivera, TK5/6 vice president. “One individual is selected as our Elite Ambassador and awarded an experience-based pass of the month.”

The first iteration of the award began in March, with U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Zachary Vedder, 377th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, aerospace medical technician. Vedder had the opportunity to not only be recognized in front of a TK5/6 meeting, but to spend the day with the 377th Air Base Wing Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Robert Stamper.

Vedder was submitted to the program because his leadership felt he embodies the four pillars of Defense Logistics Agency Resilience (mental, physical, social, and spiritual) or known as the Comprehensive Airman Fitness components of mental, physical, social and spiritual. Vedder was able to shadow Stamper to several different activities and meetings throughout the day.

Vedder said that he started the day getting a tour of the Wing Headquarters building, meeting different leaders along the way. After the tour, the duo traveled to visit with the Airman Leadership Students to hear what they had to say or what questions they had.

“Following ALS, we did a calendar review, where I got to see how busy everyone is and what all they do on a daily basis,” Vedder said. “I am very impressed how they manage to balance their day with meetings, etc.”

Rivera and her team thought that this program was important because, as members of the Air Force within distinct career fields, many times Airmen can get so focused on particular jobs and do not get the opportunity to see how others contribute to the ‘Big’ Air Force.

“With an experience-based award you get to see that the Air Force is more than your AFSC and it’s a chance to be exposed to all the different aspects that there are to our Air Force,” Rivera said. “This opportunity would be invigorating as it would give those selected the opportunity to see the Air Force through the eyes of our command chief, [with] many [Airmen] not experiencing anything similar until they have gone up through the ranks.”

Vedder was excited to take a few things he learned back to his unit, and he said that one quote from Stamper stood out to him the most, ‘You should enjoy what you do every day. It doesn’t have to be the entire day, it can just be a small moment, but if you can’t think of one moment in the day where you enjoyed what you did, then you aren’t doing the right thing.’ That really stuck with Vedder, and is something that he said he will always carry with him, and to his workplace.

“I learned what Chief Stamper and other leaders do behind the scenes and it was very interesting to see how all of that worked,” said Vedder. “It was an amazing day and I enjoyed every bit of it. Getting coined was the highlight of my day.”