Master sergeant sets the bar

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
There are many ways to encourage Airmanship. Some mentors are better at showing than telling, but others manage to do both.

Master Sgt. Becky Patterson, Mathies NCO Academy, is directly involved in leadership instruction because of her job, but she also manages to teach by example.
"Patterson emulates the core values and lives to serve others of multiple professions," said Senior Master Sgt. Heather Moody, MNCOA . "She does that equally on base and in the community. She is constantly involved in making differences and truly believes in volunteering."

Patterson has been recognized multiple times for her efforts in the Gulf Coast community.

She was voted as the 2014 Dragon Award winner, given to one outstanding Airman from one of Keesler's multiple tenant units.

"I have to say thank you to my bosses," said Patterson. "Because of their encouragement, I was driven to step up and grow. They take care of everyone here and always push us to do more."

In October,, she was also recognized for her accomplishments, but by the Mississippi Gulf Coast community. Patterson was awarded the Thomas V. Fredian Community Leadership Award at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Salute to the Military dinner. The award recognizes outstanding public service by an enlisted member from one of the area's military installations.

"In addition to her responsibilities at Keesler, her extensive volunteer efforts exemplify the core Air Force value of 'service before self,'" said Mississippi 4th District Congressman Steven Palazzo, who invited Patterson to Washington, D.C., as his guest to the 2014 State of the Union address. "Her leadership by example should be an inspiration to us all."

Patterson has logged approximately 3,000 volunteer hours as the NCO Academy's volunteer liaison for both the Armed Forces Retirement Home and the Fisher House and her service with Meals on Wheels, Easter Seals, AIDS/HIV outreach efforts and the Salvation Army. For Patterson, having these opportunities available is an award in itself, she said.

"The awards are nice," said Patterson, "But what I really treasure are the connections I've made with people and the networking. It's just good to be involved with your community."