Airlifter of the week: Airman boosts morale
By Senior Airman Milton Hamilton, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 03, 2021
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 86th Airlift Wing recognized Airman 1st Class Mariia Shevchenko, as Airlifter of the Week, for her leadership and technical acumen, Feb. 25, 2021.
Shevchenko, 86th Maintenance Squadron precision measurement equipment laboratory apprentice, a Dallas native, has excelled in her shop and plays a key role in boosting the morale of her fellow Airmen.
“Shevchenko is one of the newest trainees in our career field,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Babbitt, 86th MXS test measurement and diagnostic equipment flight chief. “She’s met and exceeded all expectations in her upgrade training and has the knack to do what is somewhat of a complex career field, which speaks to her math and technical skills. She’ll do well in the career field.”
“I joined the U.S. Air Force to help further my education,” Shevchenko said. “I’m originally from Ukraine, and initially wanted to join right after high school, but I had to wait until I became an U.S. citizen.”
During her short time as a calibration technician for PMEL, Shevchenko has expertly serviced 45 test equipment assets in support of six wings across three commands, supporting civil engineering operations, enabling aircraft pre-flight inspections and maintenance.
“Shevchenko is what you expect from a top tier Airman,” Babbitt said. “For a brand new Airman to step in with less than a year under her belt and have her comfort level, speaks to her character. She’s bought into the U.S. Air Force, and actively looks for ways to enhance our shop.”
Shevchenko's goal is to help build up a sense of community within her unit, which highlights her selfless commitment to making a positive impact on Airmen, the mission and the community.
“She’s committed to getting involved off base, she also runs our booster club, snack bar and morale fund,” Babbitt said. “Usually without any prompting, she puts together pot locks and other morale boosting events for our shop. You need somebody in your work center who serves as sort of a social director to keep the moral up, she’s more than perfect for that role.”
Shevchenko has gained respect from both her peers and her command for her work ethic, attention to detail and her wingmanship.
“I want to thank my husband Gabriel, my supervisors and the shop’s leadership for making me feel at home and giving me the opportunity to lead,” Shevchenko said.