Year of the NCO; Tech. Sgt. Kristina Draughan-Ellis

  • Published
  • By SSgt. Brooke Spenner
  • 932nd Airlift Wing

Today we spotlight Tech. Sgt. Kristina Draughan-Ellis, 932nd Force Support Squadron, Cyber Operations Technician. 

932AW: In just a few words what is an NCO?

CD:  A dedicated leader, motivator, and innovator who puts the mission first, BUT is cognizant that it takes people to complete the mission. 

932AW: In your words, what are some responsibilities of an NCO?

CD:  Must be able to juggle the needs of the Air Force (the mission) and how to properly use assets (people/equipment) to meet those needs; must know how to be an advocate and accurate representation of the best branch in our Armed Forces (the Air Force, of course!)!

932AW: What do you think it takes to become an NCO?

CD:  Motivation, patience, and practice! Not everyone gets it right the first time, but if you’re motivated to become the best NCO you can be, with a LOT patience and a LOT of practice, you can achieve the goal of becoming a well-rounded NCO.  

932AW: What changed from being an Airman to becoming an NCO?

CD:  I gained more opportunities to engage at “the table” with other leaders. I was afforded more opportunities to run programs and be in charge of processes.

932AW: What advice would you offer Airman?

CD:  Remember when one door closes, another one opens. You ALWAYS have choices in life. The challenge is: can you live with the consequences of the choices you make? With any bad choice you make or bad situations you endure, make sure you take away lessons learned. Growth is more powerful than anything!

932AW: Do you have a mentor or anyone that helped you in career to becoming an NCO?

CD:  I find that I’m always observing people and learning from their actions and reactions to certain things and situations. I like to think of myself as a sponge – taking in all the knowledge I can and squeezing it out by passing on that knowledge to others. There are a myriad of people that has helped me become the NCO I am today: friends turned-into family (military and non-military); excellent co-workers and supervisors; and not-so-excellent co-workers and supervisors. I feel that, no matter how long I’ve been an NCO, I’m always learning something from everyone around me.

932AW: Anything you would like to add?

CD:  Leadership is a choice. When you chose to be in a leadership position (i.e. an NCO), you are actively choosing to take on a higher responsibility than others…no matter what that looks like. Perform that choice with integrity, honor, and respect.

We thank you Tech. Sgt. Draughan-Ellis and appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with us!