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Reservist named among best aviation resource managers

Staff Sgt. Terri Schmidt, a reservist with the 728th Airlift Squadron, stands in front of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., during a recent Congressional tour. U.S. Air Force photo

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(446th AW PA) - Above and beyond. That's one of the proud slogans for the Air Force Reserve. It also accurately describes the recent accomplishments of Staff Sgt. Terri Schmidt, an aviation resource manager with the 728th Airlift Squadron.

The accolades keep piling up for Schmidt. Earlier this year, she was recognized as the Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding Aviation Resource Manager.

Apparently, that was just a stepping stone.

Now, Schmidt is the Air Reserve Component, Aviation Resource Management NCO of the Year for the Air Force.

"Terri makes our entire squadron better," said Lt. Col. Colin Carr, 728th AS commander. "She brings a sense of enthusiasm and fun to the workplace, yet she's also extremely professional and competent."

As the squadron's aviation resource manager, Schmidt wears many hats. Among other duties, she ensures air crew flight publications are up-to-date, inputs air crew flying and ground training currency, builds mission binders, and helps get new hires up to speed in their training.

And she does it all with style and a smile.

"Terri simply boosts morale throughout the squadron," said Master Sgt. Cindi Walsh, 728th AS aviation resource manager supervisor. "With her personality and with the job she's done, I can definitely see Terri making (the rank of) chief someday."

Schmidt, however, is quick to bestow credit for this award upon her colleagues.

"This is definitely a group effort and I'm just lucky enough to represent us," said Schmidt. "This award speaks volumes about the environment in which I work and the leadership here, whom have allowed me to learn from my mistakes."

Schmidt has been on continuous active-duty orders with the 728th AS for nearly two years, but that will change later this year when she deploys to Bahrain, a mission for which she volunteered. The staff sergeant said she's sad to be coming off active duty orders, but excited to experience her first deployment.

"The 728th is truly my other family," said Schmidt. "We all support each other."

For those reservists privileged enough to work with her, they recognize this latest award as confirmation of Schmidt's commitment to that ‘other family.'

"Terri genuinely likes being here, being part of this squadron, and part of something bigger," Carr said. "Her potential is limitless, and I think she'll be successful in whatever she puts her mind to."

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