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HQ RIO Airmen earn AFRC manpower, personnel awards

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Timm Huffman
  • Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization
Two Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization Airmen earned top spots in the 2016 Air Force Reserve Command Manpower and Personnel Awards.

Senior Master Sgt. Deana Rossi was named Force Support Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, while Tech. Sgt. Chrisanna Walton earned Force Support NCO of the Year.

Both Airmen support HQ RIO’s Force Management team, which provides support to the Total Force Service Center on matters related to the Individual Reserve. The team also acts as a liaison between the HQ RIO Detachments and Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center, and works on improving systems and policies for the Individual Reserve. 

Rossi, who is the Force Management section chief, said she was honored to receive the award and credited her eight years in the IR with giving her a unique perspective and passion for meeting the needs of Individual Mobilization Augmentees and Participating Individual Ready Reservists. That personal experience of having just 28 duty days each year to accomplish all of the readiness and training items most Airmen work on all year keeps her focused on improving systems and programs.

“What drives me is taking care of our Airmen in the field,” she said. 

Walton, The non-commissioned officer in charge of the Force Management team, said she has a passion for serving her customers. She sees herself as a piece in a much bigger puzzle and knows that by doing her job, she’s enabling her customers, the operators, to focus on theirs.

“When the customer walks away with a smile and a ‘thank you,’ that’s the ultimate prize,” she added.

She also said that she sees the award as recognition for the hard work of her whole team. 

Col. Carolyn Stickell, the HQ RIO commander, said her organization relies on outstanding Airmen like Walton and Rossi to provide manpower and personnel services to the more than 8,000 Individual Reservists who support active-component organizations and government agencies around the world.

In addition to its main location at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, HQ RIO has seven detachments and eight operating locations across the globe. About 160 active-duty, reserve and civilian HQ RIO professionals support the IR force, providing pay, travel, career, and readiness services.

“Senior Master Sgt. Rossi and Tech. Sgt. Walton are truly outstanding performers,” said Stickell. “Without their support, we would not be where we are today in terms of organizational excellence and professionalism.  They set a shining example and provide a tremendous level of service to our customers.  I'm extremely proud of them!” 

Rossi and Walton will now compete for the same awards at the Air Force level.