AMC Airman deployed to AUAB selected AF OAY

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Battles
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar -- The U.S. Air Force recently named its Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2020, recognizing the top enlisted members across the Air Force.

Tech. Sgt. Yvonne Febles-Rosario, a physical therapy non-commissioned officer in charge the 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron, is one of the 12 OAY for 2020. Febles-Rosario is currently deployed from the 628th Air Base Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

“I believe [winning this award] was because my leadership and those who reviewed my records saw something that they believed represented this award,” said Febles-Rosario. “I always thought to be a 12 Outstanding Airmen you had to save puppies from a burning building, but I just did my job and any task that I was given to the best of my ability.”

In addition to 12 OAY, Febles-Rosario also won Air Mobility Command’s Physical Therapy NCO of the Year and her clinic won Team of the Quarter for the 628th Air Base Wing.

When asked how she thinks this award will affect her career, Febles-Rosario stated.

“It solidifies my belief that with hard work and dedication anything is possible,” she said. I have been told this award will have a huge impact on progressing my career but I am uncertain if it will. This award is just validation that I have performed well in my career so far. I still have a lot of learning, hard work, sweat, and tears to put into meeting my career goals.”

Febles-Rosario, a native of Ft. Polk, Louisiana, has been in the USAF for 14 years, as a 4J physical therapist technician; however, her career goals include becoming a first sergeant.

“My dad was a first sergeant in the Army when I was younger and it was amazing seeing the impact my parents had on people,” she said. “As a shirt, you get the privilege to support Airmen during the highs and lows of their careers. I know it will be a challenge but nothing worth doing is ever easy.”

According to Senior Master Sgt. Jason Amaxopulos, 628th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron superintendent, Febles-Rosario won due to her work ethic, care for her people and ability to build relationships.

“She is what I would call a quiet leader, which in the military that is often over looked,” said Amaxopulos. “We often like to focus on people’s weaknesses, which is why I feel being quiet is often overlooked in the military. She focuses on her strengths to impact the team, at whatever level it may be. My first impression of her was that she was introverted but the way she carried herself and was involved with her team, it seemed like she was an untapped resource and has a lot of potential.”

Axamopulos also said that Febles-Rosario won because of her strengths on paper, but the Air Force will now get a chance to see her personality.

“I believe that she won because she works hard and we were able to reflect on paper what she was doing every day,” he said. “The Air Force awards program does not allow for interviews to see one’s personality, Air Force leaders expect and trust the decisions of leaders at lower echelons that we are putting up our Airmen that truly deserve these accolades, which TSgt. Febles- Rosario has definitely earned and is deserving of being a 12 OAY winner.  I’m just glad that others get the opportunity to see what I’m able to see day in and day out.”

Some of the accomplishments that aided in Febles-Rosario securing her OAY win were fulfilling an 8-week manning shortage for her clinic by working a rotational technician schedule with the U.S. Navy, took on a 2-week first sergeant duty for her medical group and a 3-month flight commander position while her leadership was deployed.

When asked if she had an advice for future Airmen, Febles-Rosario said,

“Focus on learning, doing your job well, teaching others, and find something your passionate about. If you focus on these things, recognition will follow.”

Febles-Rosario will be recognized at an official ceremony in September 2020. The winners are authorized to wear the OAY Ribbon with the bronze service star device on the ribbon. They are also authorized to wear the OAY badge for one year from the date of formal presentation.