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Shaw SSgts step-promote to TSgt

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ashley Maldonado
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
On a crisp Friday morning, two staff sergeants go about their normal work routine at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 2, 2020. They would soon be surprised by their squadron leadership and the 20th Fighter Wing commander and command chief with an unexpected gift.

Now Tech. Sgt. Lateia Quarterman, 55th Fighter Generation Squadron commander support staff noncommissioned officer in charge, and Tech. Sgt. Brittany Banks, 20th Healthcare Operations Squadron non-active duty clinic NCOIC, were presented with their technical sergeant stripe for their hard work and dedication.

“My first thought when Lt. Col. Hart called me to the front was shock,” said Banks. “I knew that I’d been doing some things around the medical group, but I didn’t think now was the time to recognize them. I’m also pretty shy, so I was worried. When he told me I was out of uniform, it was just this wonderful feeling that rushed through me. I almost couldn’t believe it, that this was happening to me; something that I dreamed about, and it was finally happening. I was finally a tech. sgt. All I could do was cry and thank God.”

Quarterman said when her commander showed her the stripe, she just broke down crying. It was a blessing. She did not think she was going to get step-promoted at all, and she was overwhelmed.

Quarterman continued to say the news did not really register to her until later on that night when everything just calmed down, and she was in shock and awe.

“To me, honestly, it makes me realize that my leadership is there, and they are supportive,” said Quarterman. “They do see all the good work that I’m doing and my team is doing. It’s validation that we’re on the right track; we’re doing the right things, and they do appreciate what we’re doing.”

Prior to Banks’s promotion, her flight chief had been grooming her to take over bits and pieces of her responsibilities in her absence, but she has a feeling her grooming will be taken up a notch. Banks said she is ready for whatever is put in her lap, she knows she will succeed. She has a wonderful squadron, and the leadership and her mentors support her and do everything in their power to set her and others up for success.

“This promotion means so much to me,” said Banks. “It means that my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. It means that what I am doing is appreciated. It means that others notice the good that I’m putting out there and recognize the good leader in me. It also means I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue to push my troops and my mentees and encourage them to just be the best they can be, because somebody is watching and eventually, you can’t be denied what you deserve. I’m right here as living proof.”

Quarterman says she is waiting for more responsibilities. Now that she is a tech. sgt., she feels she needs to start working at a master sgt. level. She is anticipating her new roles and responsibilities and is ready.

“For airmen that are in my situation, that have tested so many times and didn’t reach the goal through testing, it’s okay to be discouraged for a moment, but never let it reflect in your work,” Quarterman said. “I feel like that’s why I have tech. sgt. now, because I let my work speak for itself. Definitely be encouraged, and continue to press!”