By 2nd Lt. Marie Denson
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Master Sgt. Gabriel Moreno recently earned the Air Force Airman and Family Readiness Center Enlisted Manager of the Year for the 2011 award. Sergeant Moreno, A&FRC Readiness noncommissioned officer is humbled by the award.
“I love my job,” he said. “I never in my wildest dreams thought of receiving such a high caliber reward for simply doing my job.”
The A&FRC Readiness NCO develops and provides personal and family readiness services related to pre-deployment, sustainment and reintegration education and consultation to Airmen and their families.
“For me, taking care of a deployed member’s family, that’s the most important part of this work,” said Sergeant Moreno. “The deployed members have the leadership and support that they need downrange, but their families are left behind so we need to make sure they are taken care of. I don’t want them to be known as just another deployed family, I want to know their names and their kid’s names and what they do and don’t like so when we see and talk to them it’s on a personal basis. If something comes up when a member is deployed they can know that we are here to help out on this end.”
This annual award recognizes an enlisted person working in the A&FRC who goes above and beyond, taking their work to the next level and setting the standard for the Air Force.
Sergeant Moreno has done that and more. He has helped raise the morale for families of deployed members during the current high operation tempo by implementing SKYPE & video recordings, orchestrating the first Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and heading up Schriever’s first Deployed Families Dinner. He has also put together a group of volunteers with special skill sets who are on-hand for family members in need while their spouse is deployed.
Sergeant Moreno believes that this award was a team effort and he would have not been able to accomplish all that is needed to do with the deployed family programs without their assistance and support.
“Sergeant Moreno has a passion for working with deployed families, having experienced first-hand his own spouse deploying while balancing his life — taking care of his three children, working fulltime and attending college. This personal experience has transferred over professionally allowing him to understand the families he works with everyday,” said Christina Ruetz, Community Readiness consultant. “He organized the first deployed family dinners on Schriever, he’s educated more than 750 children on understanding deployment operations, and maintained direct contact with spouses of deployed service members providing critical family support.”
For Sergeant Moreno winning at the Air Force level is humbling and he is grateful, but the timing brings a bit of sadness. After making sure the families of Schriever’s deployed members are well taken care of Sergeant Moreno will now count on someone else to take care of his family as he prepares for on a year-long remote tour to Kunsan Air Base, Korea.
“I’m happy, grateful and blessed to have a family that supports me, but at the same time winning [the A&FRC Enlisted Manager of the Year award] is bittersweet because I’m leaving and I only have a couple months left. I’m going to miss the staff and the people here. But on the bright side, we are on a long ride and we want to see how far we can go because it’s been good so far.”