AFSC Airman named Outstanding Airman of the Year

  • Published
  • By Angela Startz

This year’s list of 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year includes a member of the Air Force Sustainment Center. Master Sgt. (S) Jennifer G. Thomas, 441st Vehicle Supply Chain Operations Squadron, 735th Supply Chain Operations Group, 635th Supply Chain Operations Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis AFB, Virginia, received the Technical Sergeant Outstanding Airman of the Year Award. She was among the 12 awardees recognized at the Air and Space Forces Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference Airman of the Year Ceremony Sept 19.

“The award means a lot! I mean this award is HUGE and apparently unheard of in our career field,” said Thomas. “My family, team, our unit and the entire vehicle management community are happy as well. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm definitely shocked but I'm just really happy and honored to represent for our Vehicle Management Specialties [2T3X1] community.”

Her service and expertise during 2021 included deploying four assets in less than 48 hours to aid the 3,000 Haitian migrant transfer and leading a team of three during Operation Allies Welcome where she directed 57 vehicle shipments in support of 50,000 Afghan evacuees.

Earlier this year, Thomas received the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the Air Force Materiel Command, and recently pinned on her master sergeant rank.

"It’s simply fantastic to be associated with one of our Air Force’s 12 OAY. Master Sgt. Thomas’ accomplishments are truly remarkable,” said Col. Ryan Bakazan, 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing Commander. “She is a shining example for Airmen of all ranks to strive to be like. I could not be prouder to be on her team and serve alongside her!"

All recipients were recognized at the ceremony and will wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon, along with the OAY badge, for one year from the formal presentation.

Thomas is looking forward to the next 12 months. “I honestly don't know exactly what to expect, but I know I'm definitely going to learn a lot from everything I'm going to experience this year, as well as getting to know the rest of the OAY winners.

“Work-wise, I really want to continue to learn and get even better at my job, and how to be an even better supervisor, mentor, and leader.”

Chief Master Sergeant Rey D. Schultz, 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing Command Chief shared, "To see Master Sgt. Thomas recognized at the highest levels of the Air Force didn't come as a surprise as she has done amazing things for not only her unit, but the Air Force enterprise as a whole. JT's ability to take care of both the mission and the Airmen across the wing simultaneously during difficult times is truly an inspiration for all of us and she is one we certainly wish to emulate!"