BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth in a series highlighting the Air Force Global Strike Command Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
Air Force Global Strike Command recently named its Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2019, recognizing the top enlisted members across the command.
Senior Master Sgt. Itxel DeLucy, 576th Flight Test Squadron First Sergeant, won the First Sergeant of the Year category. Highlights of her award-winning year include managing 435 total force personnel, rehabilitating 15 Airmen, restoring two commander’s readiness programs, enabling Glory Trip Task Forces and leading the commander’s five-member innovation team. In addition, she led an eight-week Feds Feed Families campaign to provide more than 2,000 meals at five local shelters, and cared for dependents of incarcerated Airmen, engaging agencies to fix victim payment errors and helping families get more than $18,000 in benefits.
DeLucy, who calls Sierra Vista, Arizona, home, began her journey as an Airman in May of 2000, and said she is extremely humbled to be selected to represent the command as an OAY winner.
“I don’t feel like the winner…I like to say I am representing my unit and all the AFGSC First Sergeants at the next level,” she said. “Leading and taking care of Airmen is no easy feat and it wears on all of us. My selection is only a small glimpse into what First Sergeants really do and how hard they work to take care of people.”
DeLucy said she is grateful to have had the opportunity to see many moving pieces of the Air Force mission in her career.
“As a military training instructor, I molded trainees into Airmen. In Iraq, I saw the war-fighting piece and I quickly learned why discipline is so important…it keeps us safe,” she said. “As a First Sergeant, I am able to see how our mission affects Airmen’s lives, and it is my job to connect them. The real challenge we have as leaders is to learn how to combine mission and everyday life.”
Supporting the mission and the Airmen who perform it is a top priority for DeLucy.
“As an Air Force leader, what I do is important to the mission because Airmen need to be cared for. If an Airman feels valued, cared for, and important, he or she will give you their all and their very best work. After that, the mission falls into place,” she said. “It is without question, that the Air Force’s most valuable weapon system is its Airmen…and I’m standing watch.”
At the end of the day, DeLucy is most proud of helping Airmen.
“My favorite thing about this is making a difference every single day, even if it’s small,” she said. “There is no greater reward than an Airman thanking you for taking care of them and their family. It’s simply amazing.”