384th ARS Airman earns spotlight performer

  • Published
  • By Airman John Linzmeier
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
As a spotlight performer, individuals are chosen by leadership for demonstrating the Air Force's Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

Senior Airman James Michel, 384th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, was selected as the 22nd Air Refueling Wing spotlight performer for the week of June 17 to 22.

Since Michel joined the Air Force in June 2010, he has been deployed four times. In his most recent deployment, he flew 20 Operation Enduring Freedom combat missions, in-flight refueled 30 different aircraft and enabled 80 hours of close air support by fighter aircraft for troops on the ground.

When he is not flying, he works in the squadron standardization and evaluation shop as a liaison officer, ensuring aircrews are fully qualified to accomplish their mission.

"Michel's dedication to excellence extends beyond the aircraft and was evident in his most recent physical fitness assessment," said Staff Sgt. Marcus Barnes, 384th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator. "He took it upon himself to improve with a rigorous physical training regiment. The results are phenomenal."

He lost 4.5 inches off his waist, increased his sit-ups by 13, and reduced his run time by 1:25, resulting in a 12.6 score increase to 93.8.

In the squadron, Michel led a three-person team in the construction of five new workstations, aiding the integration of squadron aviation resource management into the "Squarepatcher" Operations Center.

Outside of the work environment, he isĀ involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a youth mentoring program.

"Michel's commitment to excellence as a boom operator," said Barnes, "along with his inspiring drive for self-improvement and passion for mentoring, is evidence that he is already an Air Force leader and why he was chosen as the 22nd ARW spotlight performer."

Who is the most positive influence in your life and why?
The most positive influence in my life is my family. They raised me to work hard, do my work right, to offer help when it is needed and to be a good person in general.

If you could give advice to a new Airman, what would it be and why?
My advice would be to work hard and keep track of your bullets. Take what you do seriously no matter what it is; it all ties into the whole.

What is one goal that you have already accomplished, or would like to accomplish, during your Air Force career?
Depending on my future marital status and plans of my significant other, I may re-enlist and make the Air Force my long-term career. Whatever the case may be, it will be an adventure that I look forward to.

Where is the most interesting place you have traveled and why do you feel that way?
The most interesting city I have been to was Trier, Germany. It was founded in approximately 16 B.C. Just the presence of the history there, walking down old roads and going through buildings that have existed for so long was kind of humbling. The architecture was as beautiful as was the city itself.

If you had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I like to meet people wherever I go. Making new friends along the way never hurts. It is difficult to choose just one person that I would want to meet beyond another. Perhaps I would like to meet Emma Watson, she is smart, talented and has her life together.