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19th OSS Airman receives AMC’s nomination for National Public Service Award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isabell A. Nutt
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. – Tech. Sgt. Jessica Pacheco, 19th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of aircrew flight equipment, was recently recognized as Air Mobility Command’s nominee for the 2023 National Public Service Award – an annual award presented to those who make a profound difference to improve service to the public.

The American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration established the award to honor individuals whose outstanding contributions and accomplishments serve as models of public service in and out of the work environment. 

Within her unit, Pacheco manages the training program for the 19th OSS, where she oversees upgrade and reoccurring training for 65 technicians. She recently authored 15 training improvements, which led to her being recognized as the 19th Airlift Wing’s Combat Airlifter of the Week.

Additionally, she’s in charge of her unit’s sponsorship program and teaches aircrew continuation training classes for the 19th and 314th AWs.

Pacheco also serves the base as a Victim Advocate and Suicide and Violence Prevention Instructor. She coordinated 12 suicide awareness training events across nine squadrons and mentored eight survivors. Additionally, she aided clients with Lonoke County Safe Haven- an organization that provides care and a safe place to victims of domestic violence.

“It’s not just about checking boxes and getting people trained,” Pacheco said. “This has real importance to me.”

Her efforts and dedication to the Suicide and Violence Prevention program earned her a Letter of Appreciation from Col. James O’Brien, 19th AW vice wing commander.

Pacheco said that she connects with the program through her own personal experiences and mental health struggles. In her class, she shares her experience with losing her father and close friend, and reminds her students that it’s not impossible to overcome hardships in life.

“I still struggle with those losses sometimes,” Pacheco said. “That’s what I go through daily, but I still try to come to work, be positive and help other people.”

Her motivation to serve others derives from not only these experiences, but the encouragement from those around her; whether that be within her squadron or the Suicide and Violence Prevention program. Pacheco credits her supervisor and the Violence Prevention Integrator for entrusting her with leadership positions and pushing her outside of her comfort zone.

“We are blessed to have her on our team,” said Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Ledford, 19th OSS aircrew flight equipment superintendent. “Our squadron leadership knows that if Tech. Sgt. Pacheco is involved with the project, it will get done right the first time and our Airmen will be cared for.”

Pacheco also recognizes her husband, David, and expected son as being her daily motivation to do her job to the best of her ability.

“They remind me that as harsh and as dark as it may be,  they are  worth getting up and living for.”