An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Airman finds the Guard a perfect fit for her family

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Regina Young
  • 116 Air Control Wing Public Affairs
A team of dedicated and committed Airmen from the 116th Air Control Wing here operate and maintain the Air Force E-8C Joint STARS aircraft and continue its legacy of being "The Eyes of the Night."

Some Airmen stand out above the rest. Senior Airman Crystal Steiger, an aerospace propulsion mechanic with the 116th Maintenance Squadron, is such an Airman.

Steiger knew since she was 18 that she wanted to enlist, but it took more than a decade for the right timing for her to join the Georgia Air National Guard.

"I like the structure of the Guard, craved it and I wanted a career," said Steiger.

With only a few years in the Guard, Steiger has already deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and has earned several awards including Airman of the Year for the 116th ACW and the state.

As soon as Steiger completed her training--a month ahead of schedule--and was qualified to deploy, she volunteered.

"Being away from my family was hard," said Steiger. "We missed each other, but my husband made it easier by sending videos and pictures of our daughter...she's such a trooper. Fortunately, I was able to Skype with them almost every night."

"Overall, I had a great experience being deployed. I was lucky; the people I deployed with were positive and outgoing."

Steiger indicated she takes great pride in being a hard-worker and in her willingness to learn and make connections with people. She believes that has contributed to her accomplishments.

"She's a go-getter, her work ethic is contagious," said Master Sgt. Brian Bentzel, Propulsion Flight supervisor. "She sets the standards for others and then leads by example."

"I always try to be my best," said Steiger. "I have a great job and outstanding supervisors and co-workers that keep me motivated."

Steiger commented she was "amazed" and "overwhelmed" at being nominated and receiving Airman of the Year.

"It feels good to be recognized and know that I'm appreciated for my hard work," she said.

Steiger added that the Guard has provided her with structure and stability and a place her family can establish roots.