107th NCO of the year 2007
By Staff Sgt. Rebecca Kenyon, 107th AW
/ Published March 20, 2008
NIAGARA FALLS ARS, N.Y. -- In less than six years she joined the Air Force, deployed to Iraq, deployed to Arizona to help protect our nation's borders, and was awarded the 2007 Non- Commissioned Officer of the Year by the 107th Air Refueling Wing.
Staff Sgt. Sylvia V. Kirchner, a traffic management specialist with the 107th ARW Logistics Readiness Squadron, is soon to become a very familiar face in the recruiting office here.
Sylvia, a Poland native who came to the United States at 12-years-old, joined the U.S. military after September 11, 2001.
Sylvia said September 11 contributed to her motivation to join, but she had just finished school and was looking at all of her options.
"I heard of the great opportunities the Air Force had to offer," said Sylvia.
Following basic training in 2002, Sylvia was assigned to Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C. as a traffic management specialist for the logistics group where her job consisted mainly of moving household goods.
During her time at Bolling AFB, Sylvia helped with President Ronald Reagan's funeral, arranged a household move for General Jumper, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and was invited to President George Bush's Inaugural Ball in 2005.
"We got to meet a lot of people," said Sylvia, "It was a really neat place to be."
In May 2005, Sylvia deployed to Iraq with her husband, Jason.
"When I went away to Iraq for five months, I got really, really lucky because me and my husband got to deploy at the same time, to the same base," said Sylvia.
While in Balad, Iraq, she volunteered as a Polish interpreter for two medical evacuation missions of Polish troops.
Following the deployment to Iraq, and Sylvia's duty enlistment, Jason's roots brought the couple to Western New York and he joined the 107th ARW. Shortly after, Sylvia also joined the unit.
Sylvia said she is very happy with the family environment that the 107th offers.
"I love this unit," said Sylvia, "They say active duty is a big huge family, but this is a big little family."
Sylvia added she has never had a bad experience with the 107th ARW.
"It's not just one thing that I like, it's the whole unit that I like," said Sylvia.
In 2006, Sylvia volunteered for Operation Jump Start where she served on Team Diamondback in the Tuson sector of Arizona. She worked closely with Army personnel for nearly two months to help build the border.
"In a matter of a month and a half, they taught me how to weld, how to drill, how to drive a 10-speed dump truck..." said Sylvia, "It was fun, I enjoyed every minute of it."
In January, Sylvia was awarded the 107th ARW Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for 2007.
Sylvia's supervisor, Master Sgt. Joseph Smith, 107th ARW Logistic Readiness Squadron, Traffic Management Supervisor, said he submitted Sylvia's package for 107th NCO of the year because of her strong work ethic and constant strive to improve.
Recently, Sylvia was selected as a recruiter for the 107th ARW. She will return from technical school in April to begin her new career.
Sylvia said she plans to continue as a professional member of the unit and hopes to make chief master sergeant one day and retire.
"I would recommend this unit to anybody, not because I'm going to be a recruiter, but because of my own personal experience" said Sylvia, "I never would have thought I would be doing the things I've done."