542nd CSW director recognized with Presidential Rank Meritorious Service Award

  • Published
  • By Holly Birchfield
  • 78th ABW/PA
Air Force officials recognized the career achievements of 20 senior civilians April 14 during the annual Presidential Rank Awards Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

"Our distinguished winners are products of a lifetime of dedication to their trade (and) the Air Force," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, who officiated with Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Duncan J. McNabb. "They contribute each in their own way."

The ceremony was held in an auditorium at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

Brenda Romine, director of the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing, was one of the award recipients.

Her "taking care of business" attitude compelled Ms. Romine to lead the way for positive change in her previous role as the deputy director of Logistics at Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and earned her the 2007 Presidential Rank Meritorious Service Award.

Presidential rank awards are reserved for career senior executives who have a stellar record of achievement that is recognized throughout the agency and is acknowledged on a national or international level.

While at Scott AFB, Ms. Romine was the driving force behind implementation of the most significant change to the Air Force's civilian personnel system in decades throughout AMC. She personally ensured more than 13,000 employees impacted by the change fully understood the move and reached out to labor relations representatives early in the process to build a better implementation strategy in the command.

In addition to her many other accomplishments, Ms. Romine implemented Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century to promote an atmosphere for continuous process improvement in AMC.

The presidential rank award, which is the first of its kind for Ms. Romine, wasn't earned without the help of others.

"I think it takes a lot of hard work and dedication," she said. "It takes a lot of looking at what the needs of the Air Force are and working toward (meeting) those needs, trying to be a team player with everyone. It takes an understanding and an awareness of what's going on."

Ms. Romine said timing is also part of the equation.

"In a lot of cases, I think it's a lot of luck," she said. "It's a lot of being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of opportunities to be able to make things better for the Air Force."

Being able to work with people that share a vision of improving the Air Force as a whole and making a difference for Airmen are two things that laid the groundwork for her honor, Ms. Romine said.

"It's really more the people I worked with (and) the people I've had the opportunity to be associated with who provided the foundation for any recognition I have had," she said. "There are a lot of great folks doing great things out there every day. I'm really humbled to be recognized for what I perceive as just doing my job."

Those who have worked with Ms. Romine see her accomplishments in a different light.

Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, director of Logistics for the Air Mobility Command, said Ms. Romine made a lasting impact on AMC.

"During the past two years, I've watched in awe as Ms. Romine simultaneously managed reductions in personnel, dollars, and weapons systems, while ensuring AMC could sustain its 900 plus sorties per day operational tempo," he said. "In short, her leadership led to sustaining America's air bridge support of the global war on terrorism. Each of us within AMC is proud of Brenda's accomplishments and congratulates her on this prestigious award."

Lt. Col. Chris Kelly, AMC vice commander, had similar praises for the senior leader.

"It came as absolutely no surprise to me that Ms. Romine has been selected for this very special and prestigious award," he said. "Brenda is that very rare combination of technical expert, farsighted planner, and get your hands dirty, out front leader. Brenda is the total package and we're very proud of her."

Ms. Romine will be presented with her award during a ceremony in the spring in Washington D.C.