SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Many people know the Air Force core values, integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do, but knowing them and living them are two different things.
Connie Ali, 82nd Training Wing Equal Opportunity director, was recognized Jan. 9, 2018, and received the Chief’s Pride award.
Ali, who was shocked and surprised to receive the award, said she would stay strong in her purpose by being grateful and humble.
“I enjoy what I do and do not consider it work,” Ali said. “Receiving this award validated to me that I was walking in my purpose.”
While the award traditionally goes to enlisted Airmen, this selection was different.
“The Chiefs' Pride Award is nominated by a Sheppard Chiefs' Group Member, is voted on, and approved by the group,” said Chief Master Sgt. Leonard Arsenault, 82nd Mission Support Group chief. “The target audience is typically a technical sergeant or below; however, a chief master sergeant may nominate any deserving member of the Sheppard Community. The criteria recognizes someone that has gone above and beyond their normal call to service and exemplifies our Air Force Core Values.”
Arsenault said some of the reasons Ali earned this award were because her duties and impact reach far beyond her role in Equal Opportunity.
“She is truly a treasure for Team Sheppard,” he said. “She provides critical insight into the culture and climate of our organizations and has an incredible knack of getting to the source of problems within units. The sage advice Ms. Ali provides all of us at Team Sheppard is truly invaluable and her depth of experience often illuminates concerns that leadership teams may not be aware of.”
According to Arsenault, some those concerns Ali addresses include significant resiliency issues that our Airmen may be overwhelmed by, and her outreach efforts to command leadership could save lives.