News: Shaw NCO of character, courage, commitment
Story by Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham
SUMTER, S.C. - In 1987 the United States Congress designated the month of March as Women’s History Month, and every year since then the National Women’s History Project has designated a theme for the month, this year’s being “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment”
For one Shaw NCO portraying character, courage and commitment is exactly the type of airman she is.
“Our military is the one place that you get looked at strictly by your rank and how you perform your job,” said Staff Sgt. Robbie Powell-Greenwood, 20th Force Support Squadron First Term Airman Center NCO in charge. “It’s all based on what you do, not what gender you are.”
Due to increased equality after President John F. Kennedy established the President’s Commission on the Status of Women in 1961, women have been able to be themselves, showing their true character.
“Staff Sgt. Powell-Greenwood’s most dominate attribute is character,” said Master Sgt. Jacob Peeterse, 20th Component Maintenance Squadron test measurement and diagnostic equipment flight chief. “Air Force Pamphlet 36-2241 defines character traits as charisma, compassion and courage. Her charisma is shown in so many ways, but most predominately by the number of Airmen who feel comfortable talking to her about anything and everything. She couples that charisma with compassion, which is a huge part of who she is. Finally, she has the courage to tell Airmen that they are going in the wrong direction and [to re-direct]. All these things she does because she truly cares about our Airmen.”
In 1917 Loretta Walsh was the first American woman to enlist in the U.S. military when she joined the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Since that time, women have displayed courage in the armed forces.
“To me, courage is also bravery,” said Powell-Greenwood. “One Saturday morning after my neighbor had left after having coffee together, she comes running out her back door and asks if I know anything about medical. ‘My husband isn’t breathing and I don’t know what is going on,’ she said.”
“So I ran over there and he was sitting on the sofa and sure enough he wasn’t breathing,” said Powell-Greenwood. “I guess that’s where the military training took over. I got him onto the floor and started administering CPR; I had her call 911 and I just kept doing what was engrained in me, my military training. Then the paramedics showed up and they got him out of there with his heartbeat back.”
Just as having courage can at times call for stepping up in a situation, the Montevallo, Ala., native also steps up for her fellow airmen.
“I am very committed to the resiliency training programs,” said the volunteer master resiliency trainer. “I’m very passionate about it. It’s important to have these skills to know how to cope with everything. Look at the state of the Air Force right now, there’s some hard times going on. I am a U.S. Air Force NCO, it’s my job to provide the airmen with this type of training, it’s my duty.”
Though Women’s History Month will end with March, Powell-Greenwood will continue her Air Force career, as she plans to stay in for another 10 years, and hopes to eventually become a first sergeant.
“I love being judged on how I perform my duty as opposed to what my gender is,” said Powell-Greenwood. Its 2014, gender should not come into play.”