2001 airforce Times
Honorable Mentions

Senior Airman Brian Coles

Lackland Air Force Base

An unfortunate on-duty industrial accident didn't get this airman down. Instead, Senior Airman Brian L. Coles perseveres each day to improve himself physically to remain on active duty. Refusing to leave the hospital in a wheelchair after his January 2000 accident, which resulted in his right leg being amputated below the knee, he instead left on crutches. While recuperating he concentrated on his Career Development Course studies and within eight weeks after the accident he was back at work. His peers say he was an inspiration during his recovery period, remaining upbeat through it all. He now runs on his artificial leg and has completed all requirements of the Medical Evaluation Board. Coming from a family with deep military ties, Coles has always wanted to be a part of the Air Force. By showing extraordinary commitment and dedication, Coles is an example to airmen everywhere.

Master Sergeant Janet Osborne

Charleston Air Force Base

Master Sergeant Janet Osborne took on a squadron that was on the bottom rung of the working climate survey and by turning on the afterburners increased everyone's performance. Jumping right into her task, she began working shoulder to shoulder with her unit's mechanics, changing oil and working on broken vehicles. She also worked on citizenship issues for 10 airmen from foreign nations who wanted to stay in the service. She arranged waivers for them to attend Airman Leadership School while working on their citizenship. Examples of her involvement in her community includes coordinating the base's first sergeants for the Holiday Cheer Program, participating in booster club activities, spouses groups, and she works as a stress prevention expert, handling everything from suicide prevention to domestic violence.

First Lieutenant Laurie Albarino

Hill Air Force Base

One sure sign of leadership is not being afraid of a daunting challenge. After serving in the enlisted ranks, 1st Lt. Laurie A. Albarino was on her way to an ambitious future through Officer Training School when she was involved in a near-fatal automobile accident. The accident left her with severe injuries and she spent three months recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Overcoming physical challenges, including learning to walk again, she was returned to active duty status and subsequently completed OTS. Soon after, she was assigned as the only female maintenance officer at Cape Canaveral AS, then went to Patrick AFB where she managed space launch contracts and contractors. Now working in the munitions field, she has just one class to go to get her MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. First Lieuenant Albarino juggles her demanding professional life with being a single mother. As a former enlisted member, she is an outstanding role model for her squadron, says her supervisor, "If all my officers were like Laurie, I wouldn't have a worry in the world."