2011 airforce Times
Honorable Mentions

SSgt Kaitlin Morgan

526th Intelligence Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base
Married; hometown is Jasper, Fla.

Morgan goes above and beyond what’s expected, whether she’s getting airmen ready for the war zone, leading physical training or teaching kids how to play volleyball.

Last year, Morgan was stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan, where she served as unit deployment manager for the 301st Intelligence Squadron.

Lt. Col. Michael S. Smith, the squadron’s commander, described Morgan as “great” at her job, “defeating logistical hurdles” to ship weapons to six remote desert locations and saving the Air Force money at the same time.

Morgan’s handling of one problem, though, really wowed Smith.

“She identified and resolved a wing-level broken weapons shipment process, narrowly averting a major security violation, and thwarting an international incident,” he wrote in an email.

Off duty, Morgan spent much of her time helping the children — at Misawa, across Japan and around the world. She coached volleyball and organized a tutoring program. She was instrumental in planning a local Special Olympics; served as local president of Operation Eyesight, which helps blind children; and organized a fundraiser that brought in $500 for humanitarian aid to Haiti earthquake victims.

At the end of his email, Smith rattled off example after example of Morgan’s selflessness — baby-sitting for free, acting as a designated driver for five of Misawa’s social events, mentoring her fellow airmen.

“SSgt Morgan reminds us what it takes to get the mission done,” Smith wrote, “and inspires us to do our very best at all times.”

A1C Haley Westbrook

824th Base Defense Squadron, Moody AFB
Married; hometown is Social Circle, Ga.

Westbrook doesn’t have much time under her belt, but she’s no stranger to responsibility.

Shortly after joining the Air Force, Westbrook deployed to Iraq with the 824th Security Forces Squadron, since renamed the 824th Base Defense Squadron.

In her six months overseas, the Georgia native played two roles: lead convoy driver and weapons custodian.

Behind the wheel, she completed more than 80 combat missions without incident. Her ammunitions work required her to track 50,000 rounds of ammunition and redesign the equipment storage process.

In her off time, Westbook volunteered more than 600 hours at Joint Base Balad. She didn’t care how she helped, doing everything from preparing food to organizing events. At the end of every day, she helped out in the base’s emergency room.

While juggling her work and volunteer responsibilities, Westbrook managed to upgrade her training and earn her associate degree in criminal justice from the Community College of the Air Force.

“She has gone above and beyond the scope of her duties and excelled at every task,” wrote Master Sgt. Aaron W. Winward, Westbrook’s flight chief. “She has dedicated herself to education and to helping community, as well.”