By Tech. Sgt. Bryan M. Lopes, 304th Rescue Squadron, 304th Rescue Squadron
/ Published August 07, 2014
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, ORE. -- On Aug. 2, Tech. Sgt. Carl Valentine was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal before an audience of his peers. In the careers of Airmen, Sailors and Marines the Commendation Medal is often given for those who have not only answered the call but also exceeded expectations. However an AFCOM is much more than just exceeding expectations; the dictionary lists several definitions and the one that applies to Sergeant Valentine is one which all Airmen should strive to embody: "to entrust; give in charge; deliver with confidence."
In the performance of our duties we rarely recognize this trait for what it is. Thankfully, in the 304th Rescue Squadron, these values are commonplace. Every day, the men and women of the 304th RQS conduct themselves in a manner which is commendable. So when we collectively recognize an Airman we do so with a grain of specialty. And Sergeant Valentine deserves this accolade. His attitude is always positive, but truthfully even in complaint most of us are positively convinced we can make a difference. What makes Sergeant Valentine worthy of distinction is an intangible that is summed up by the last of his award: "His actions bring great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force." You see, everyone is good at what they do here in this rescue squadron, group and wing. We are the guardians of the force, and to perform to our standards and remain in the family, we must be good at what we do. What makes Sergeant Valentine commendable is the qualitative, not just the quantitative; it is the ease at which he administers shots to a needle-shy Airman; the idea that caring for a member is not just his job but his passion. Often casual conversation can turn personal and it's the getting up and closing the door without being prompted--it's the anticipation of privacy--which sets him above other Airmen into an elite Airman. To entrust members with the lives, careers, pay and safety of their people is our commander's job. To deliver with confidence is every NCO`s job; it is always challenging, but Sergeant Valentine excels in his role. Today we commend one of our own.