301 FW Airman shines above the rest

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeremy Roman, 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 301st Fighter Wing’s mission is to train and deploy combat-ready Airmen.

In 2019, the 301 FW stationed at U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, completed several deployments overseas as well as within the United States. Without each Airman and unit doing its part, the missions would have failed. One such Airman played a vital role to mission success came from the 301 FW Financial Management office and was recognized as the best in 2019.

Senior Master Sgt. Tia Kancilia, 301 FW Financial Management Senior Air Reserve Technician, who joined the wing as a Senior Airman in January 2008, was selected as the 2019 Air Force Reserve Command FM Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.  

“It is surreal and humbling to be selected for this honor,” Kancilia said. “I am truly proud of all of my team, Airmen and civilian alike, because I rely on them every day. They are the best of the best and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them.”

Compared to their Active Duty counterpart, the Reserve FM has several challenging differences.

“Our Reservists can be in so many different statuses and the process of getting paid for each is also different because getting paid in the Reserve isn’t automatic, some sort of action or transaction needs to occur to initiate that pay,” said Kancilia. “We have amazing Airmen that make sure those transactions are processed so our Airmen get paid right and on time.”

Aside from making sure 301 FW Airmen are ready to deploy, FM must also ensure they are trained and proficient to do their job both at home and abroad.

“We are different than many other units within the wing because we do much different jobs when we are deployed then when we are at home station,” she said. “We are very good at our daily duties but in order to keep up with the mission that is expected of us when deployed, we rely on a lot training. We complete contingency training every unit training assembly, as well as annual tour, so we are 100% combat-ready.”

An average day is not always average in the FM office. Whether it’s during the week or during a UTA drill weekend, a variety of tasks and challenges are always on the forefront.

“I have to keep a calendar to remind myself of the weekly tasks that I need to accomplish because there are so many other issues that come up during the work day that it can make it hard to plan out an average day,” she added. “My Airmen and customers are my top priority and taking care of them comes before pulling reports or dealing with Excel spreadsheets.”

Mr. Matt Miller, 301 FW FM comptroller shares an aspect that has led to Kancilia’s success.

“Tia cares about her Airmen more than anyone I’ve ever met. She fights hard for them and isn’t afraid to put her neck on the line in order to get them what they need,” Miller said. “She is passionate about her people. I love that. She epitomizes our core value of service before self.”

After the Airmen are trained and the wing is taken care of, Kancilia is treated to bit of her own medicine even after the toughest of days.

“I am very blessed in my personal life and have a wonderful family. When I have a rough day at work, it is my family that gets me through it,” Kancilia said. “Because I know I get to go home and be with them, I always start fresh the next day and am able to tackle the challenges laid before me.”

Kancilia concluded with the key to her success.

“I would like to recognize every single member of 301 FW FM, military and civilian, she concluded. “They are the ones that deserve the award! The hard work and dedication I see them put forth every single day is why I belong to the best finance office in AFRC!”

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