By Staff Sgt. Patrick McKenna, 102nd Public Affairs
/ Published December 31, 2014
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- In the Air Force, promotions are not given, they are earned. They are earned by being proficient at your mission; by completing your professional military education; and by being a good person on and off duty. This is especially true when it pertains to taking the leap from the Airman ranks to become a noncommissioned officer.
Two 102nd Intelligence Wing Airmen recently reached that goal together and sewed on their next chevron, but what sets them apart, is they are not only wingmen, but husband and wife, which makes this promotion even more special.
Staff Sergeant Aaron Booker, 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron and his wife Staff Sergeant Ashley Booker, 102nd Air Operations Group, both recently joined the noncommissioned officer ranks as they both promoted to staff sergeant in front of family, friends and fellow Airmen on Joint Base Cape Cod.
The process to make staff sergeant isn't an easy one. You must not only complete Airman Leadership School and pass the comprehensive exams that accompany it, but more importantly, you must demonstrate to your leadership that you're prepared to take on the additional responsibilities that come with being an NCO.
"Earning a promotion to staff sergeant is a big deal," said Capt. Evan Lagasse, 102nd AOG. "It means much more than adding a fourth stripe to the uniform sleeve and receiving a few extra dollars in the pay check; what it truly represents is increased leadership opportunity and responsibility."
Additionally, the Bookers had to balance more than just studying and their work schedules. They also recently became parents which makes their completion of the requisite course work and exams all that more satisfying for them both.
"I'm excited that my husband and I were both promoted at the same time," said Staff Sgt. Ashley Booker. We worked really hard studying for the ALS test. We are just really happy."
With all their hard work paying off, fellow Airmen in the wing are both impressed with the Bookers' worthy promotions and excited for the next steps in their Air Force careers.
"The 102nd Intelligence Wing is a family and it was truly a pleasure to recognize a husband and wife team in Aaron and Ashley Booker as they were promoted to staff sergeant at the same time," Capt. Lagasse said.