By Master Sgt. Steven Yabsley
13th Air Support Operations Squadron
FORT CARSON, Colo. — The second day of December will no longer be “just another day” for one Airman stationed at Fort Carson. For Staff Sgt. Zachary Ayscue, that day marked his Stripes for Excellent Performers, or STEP, promotion to technical sergeant.
As a member of the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, Ayscue, a joint terminal attack controller, has seen his fair share of adversity. He has been deployed multiple times to austere locations providing close air support to aligned Army maneuver units. During all his deployments, he excelled in accomplishing the mission and earned praise from his leadership, as well as from the Soldiers in which he supported.
Competing against 629 other staff sergeants within the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing, Ayscue received the only STEP stripe that Col. Scott Kindsvater, 93rd AGOW commander, awarded this year. The ceremony started as a video teleconference between the 13th ASOS at Fort Carson, the 3rd Air Support Operations Group at Fort Hood, Texas, and the 93rd AGOW at Moody AFB, Ga. It wasn’t until Kindsvater addressed Katy Ayscue, who snuck up behind her husband, that Ayscue figured out what was going on.
“Without question, Tech. Sgt. Ayscue is truly deserving of this honor,” said Chief Master Sgt. Atticus Smith, 93rd AGOW command chief. “When you review his records and speak with him, you learn very quickly that he absolutely upholds the position and prestige of the noncommissioned officer tier. He’s a positive force within the wing and I’m very happy for him and his wife Kathryn.”
Upon learning of the good news, Col. Richard Forster, former commander of the 607th ASOG at Osan AB, Korea, added, “Staff Sgt. Zach Ayscue is one of the most impressive NCOs and Airmen I have served with in over 26 years in the USAF.”
The Gunslingers have seen their fair share of STEP promotions. In each of the last three years, Airmen from the 13th ASOS have garnered one of the few stripes awarded in the 93rd AGOW.