Airman recognizes those who sacrifice

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Lee
  • 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Iraq Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Ashley Le Duc works hard to ensure every service member deployed to Iraq gets the recognition he or she rightfully deserves.

Stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Sergeant Le Duc received a tasking to be deployed to Iraq. She had two weeks to be prepared to leave, and wasn't given any direction on what mission she would be doing.

"I wasn't sure what I was going to be doing until I arrived, because I was given a short notice that I was deploying," she said.

Sergeant Le Duc, in her fifth year on active duty, found out that she would be a manpower and personnel awards NCO, where she knew the job she would be doing is something she had never done before.

"Several Airmen are deployed into a joint unit under their skill set," said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Hanning, the ACCE-I command chief. "But on many occasions, Air Force jobs don't completely match up with Army jobs, but Airmen rapidly adjust and figure out the differences and do extraordinary things. They execute above expectations, representing our core values."
Airmen constantly step out of their comfort zones and into new skill sets while in the fight to complete the mission.

"The job that I do here isn't the one that I would do back at my home station," Sergeant Le Duc said. "I work in outbound assignments; the only time I have ever seen awards in the Air Force was when they were being presented to someone."

Making the road a little more challenging along the way, she was deployed to a joint military unit combined with members of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines.

"I had to learn all the ranks of the other branches, due to the fact that I work with them and on all of the other branches' awards," she said.

One of her key responsibilities is ensuring that deployed service members get their awards in a well-timed fashion.

"We process all the awards for every service member in Iraq," Sergeant Le Duc said.

She constantly puts in a great amount of effort in her work, as she and her unit work on more than 4,000 awards per month.

Almost half way through her deployment, Sergeant Le Duc is enjoying her new job.

"I'm glad I got the opportunity to work where I work, because it's not normally an experience everyone gets," she said. "I am proud of what I do, and I appreciate what each service member does, so it's nice to be able to give them the award that they deserve in a timely fashion."