Instructor of the Week: TSgt. Cari Gardner

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Tech. Sgt. Cari Gardner, 363rd Training Squadron munitions systems apprentice course instructor, and native of Hayward, Minnesota, has been in the Air Force for 13 years and is the Instructor of the Week at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, for the week of April 4-10, 2017.

Most significant accomplishments:

“My most significant accomplishments are joining the Air Force and achieving the goals I set for myself along the way, such as: earning Airman Below the Zone, taking care of my Airmen, continuing my college education and excelling in my career,” Gardner said. “Also, becoming a mother of two beautiful girls and being able to provide all that I can for them.”

Airman’s story:

I grew up in a small town in a middle class family,” Gardner said. “I did great in high school but after graduating realized college wasn’t for me, at least not yet. My parents couldn’t afford it and I didn’t know what I wanted to get a degree in, so I joined the Air Force.”

“Joining was the best decision I could have made for myself,” she said. “I’ve had the privilege of serving our country, traveling to amazing places, I have a career and it provides everything my family needs.”

“That decision has also made it possible for me to attain two associate’s degrees and I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree in management,” she continued. “My hopes for the future are to retire from the military in about seven years, start a new career in something I love and to be there for my girls as they growup.”

Supervisor comments:

“Sergeant Cari Gardner is a Munitions Instructor from the 363rd Training Squadron, which delivers top notch instruction to over 900 apprentice students on an annual bases along with showcasing her talent by receiving “Outstanding” ratings on annual and group no-notice instructor evaluations,” said Master Sgt. Lyndsey Ming, Gardner’s instructor supervisor.

“She also revamped the squadron’s test anxiety and study skills courses and is responsible for the execution of all classes held for students who need additional academic assistance,” Ming said. “Sergeant Gardner devotes her time to personal and professional education as she recently completed the Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education course. She’s enrolled in online education from the American Military University and additionally, she is the Unit Environment program monitor and rallied 25 volunteers for a water system overhaul; re-labeling 170 drains with the proper identification markings and ensuring Environmental Protection Agency compliance.”

“Finally, Sergeant Gardner organized a short notice meet-and-greet luncheon with the Munition’s Career Field Manager and Air Combat Command Functional Manager allowing them to disseminate their vision for the future of the Munitions Schoolhouse to 32 enlisted and military instructors,” Ming said.