STATE COLLEGE, Pa. --
Master Sgt. Kerrie Moore, an airspace manager with the 193rd Combat Operations Squadron here, recently earned the title of Outstanding Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the Pennsylvania National Guard. She was also recently named USO Air Force Servicemember of the Year for the Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey region.
Described as a hard-charging, constantly moving, high achiever, the officers at Moore’s unit say she’s “very energetic and enthusiastic,” with a masterful ability to “make people care.”
Moore is primarily responsible for training personnel on how to provide safe, efficient and flexible use of airspace, prevent fratricide, enhance air defense operations and maximize combat effectiveness.
“(Moore) is a phenomenal drill-status Guardsman,” said Col. Adam Marshall, 193rd COS commander. “The big joke is that she was actually here to get her awards. She deploys so often. It was easy to write an awards package for her. She’s a great NCO and a great volunteer, and this is a great story for the Air National Guard.”
“She is a high-quality, passionate instructor,” added Lt. Col. Nicholas Kotch, 193rd COS director of operations.
She has an amazing ability to teach, to tie things together and convey the 'why,' Kotch said.
So after 15 years of military service, what motivates Moore to keep crushing it professionally?
I sat down with the Dauphin County resident recently to ask her about her journey to success.
What brought you into the military?
I joined mostly for the retirement benefits. I didn’t want to be a burden on my son someday.
Originally, I joined the active duty Air Force in 1989 as an air traffic controller. The base closed in 1992, and I took a 14-year break in service. I moved home to be closer to family and used my GI Bill benefits to get a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Penn State.
Along the way, I got a job with TE Connectivity in Middletown, working in electronic parts procurement and logistics. This is a job where logistics experience and an ability to multitask are vital.
While there, I found out about an opportunity to join the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. So in 2006, I joined the 258th Air Traffic Control Squadron in Johnstown.
After returning from a deployment to Iraq in 2010, I was introduced to the airspace management career field and jumped on that right away because it sounded perfect for me! I came to the 112th (now the 193rd Air Operations Group) in 2010 as an airspace manager and have been here ever since.
Why do you continue to serve?
I truly love my job! I had all this training and I wanted to use it. All these accolades … they’re for things I like to do. I really don’t feel like I’m working. Plus my civilian employer and family have been so supportive over the years.
When things get overwhelming, do you have any secret tips to refresh and stay calm and focused?
I have a personal trainer, and I go to the gym regularly. I also spend a lot of time with my family. We meet for Saturday dinners every week.
I don’t watch TV, but I do read quite a bit. My current favorite book is “The Traveler’s Gift,” a fictional story where a man is transported in time and meets historical figures who share their wisdom and keys to personal success.
What’s a new goal or something you’re striving for?
My family and I are committed to helping find a cure for dementia, which my sister struggles with. Our family has raised over $100,000 for Alzheimer’s research so far through local walks, and we’ll continue to help support that cause.
I’m also working on a master’s degree in supply chain management. And I have workout goals for before, during and after deployments. I’ve also considered tap dancing.
There’s so much I want to do that my unit is willing to let me explore, and I’m committed to lifelong learning.
What advice would you give young Airmen starting out or progressing in their careers?
Find something that you enjoy doing because then it won’t feel like a job. It’s not always easy. You’ve got to get through the bad stuff and concentrate on the good. And if you’re not happy, look for something else!