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AF Reserve IMA selected as ROA annual award winner

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Timm Huffman
  • Headquarters RIO

Capt. Paula Moore received the Reserve Officers Association U.S. Air Force Reserve Junior Officer of the Year award, Sept. 12.

The award was presented on day two of the Annual ROA National Convention, at the Silver Legacy Resort, in Reno, Nevada.

Moore was recognized for her work as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee officer-in-charge of the 28th Contracting Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. As a Reservist, she oversees the 16-member team of military and civilian personnel responsible for providing contracting support to the Air Force Finance Center, the 28th Bomb Wing and its 27 B-1B Lancers, and the 89th Attack Squadron and its MQ-9 Reapers.

While Moore has served in the Ellsworth AFB contracting office as a civilian since 2011, she has only been an Airman for two years. Prior to crossing into the blue, she spent 14 years in the Army National Guard, first as an enlisted person, working as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, and then, after commissioning, as a contracting officer. When her Guard unit started to do away with contracting, Moore said she began investigating her options with the Air Force, where she was already a full-time civilian.

Following a deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, Moore, who is a single mother, decided to become an Air Force IMA because it offered her the most flexible way to serve.

“The IMA program allowed me to stay in contracting, allowed me to be at home more, and it offered the best way to support the mission and my family,” she said.

Steven Gustaf, the contracting services flight chief, said that when Moore joined his team as a civilian in 2011, she was already a highly qualified contracting officer, with a level two qualification. Now as an Air Force officer, she is a level three qualified contracting officer, the highest rating possible, and is an integral part of the leadership team as both an Airman and civilian.

Even though she had already received several awards for her civilian work, including quarterly awards and the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, Gustaf said Moore was overdue for recognition as a military member of his team. That’s why he nominated her for the ROA award.

While she is primarily the focal point for any communications-related purchases, Gustaf said Moore is also a lead negotiator and is well-versed on every contract his office has. According to her award citation, Moore was instrumental in managing a $126 million portfolio, took 132 contract actions, awarded 45 contracts, negotiated a $3.8 million price reduction, and worked with the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority to operate a $40 million wastewater treatment facility supporting Ellsworth and the surrounding communities.

“She’s really a super asset and we couldn’t be happier with her,” said Gustaf.

IMAs are assigned to active-component units and support both the peacetime and wartime missions. Their primary role is to provide backfill support for their units when needed but can also volunteer their service to support exercises, contingencies, deployments and other needs throughout the Air Force and Department of Defense.

The Reserve Officers Association is a membership association dedicated to providing a voice for Reserve Component Service Members and Non-Commissioned Officers (E-4 through E-9) of all the uniformed services. Chartered by Congress and founded in 1922, ROA advises and educates Congress, the President, and the American people on national security, with unique expertise on issues that affect the 1.2 million men and women now serving in America’s Reserve Components.