By Staff Sgt. Daniel Martinez
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
When Tech. Sgt. Darren Williams was announced as an award winner at the Armed Forces Luncheon in Colorado Springs May 14, he was in disbelief.
“I was in complete shock,” said the Airman assigned to the 3rd Space Operations Squadron. “I’m honored, I just hope I can live up to the prestige of the award.”
The Armed Forces Luncheon provides the local community an opportunity to honor servicemembers for their dedication and service. Award finalists were judged on their achievements culminating within the last five years and were interviewed by six Military Affairs Council members before a winner was determined for each enlisted category. Sergeant Williams was selected as the “Chamber Military Affairs Council Outstanding E-5/E-6” amongst his peers from the various military installations located throughout the Frontrange.
“I looked over the biographies of my competition and was confident that I would not win,” he said. “The level of leadership and the accomplishments of my peers was simply fantastic.”
Sergeant Williams joined the Air Force in 1992 upon graduating high school. His first duty station was at Minot AFB, N.D. He later moved on to other assignments in England, Australia, New Mexico and Colorado. He has also deployed to South America and Iraq, in addition to a deployment in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
He attributes his successful career to some of his colleagues he considers mentors.
“My immediate supervisor, Capt. Cristopher Vargas, has provided me significant mentorship,” he said. “Master Sgt. Vincent Jackson has also been a significant mentor of mine. He will definitely be missed upon his retirement June 2011.”
Captain Vargas said Sergeant Williams deserves the award for the hard work he puts into a typical work day, which includes showing up early to work and often times being one of the last to leave.
“He works hard to make the squadron and its members better the entire time he’s here,” Captain Vargas said. “He is constantly looking for opportunities to make those around him better. We’ve worked together for about a year now and I’d be hard pressed to say I’ve ever worked with a more professional NCO in my 17 year career.”
As for any Airman who strives to be successful, Sergeant Williams said they should find ways to better themselves and look up to their leaders.
“Pay particular attention to the NCO’s and SNCO’s in your chain of command,” he said. “I have spent my entire career focused on finding ways to become more efficient in support of the mission and my daily duties.”