Vance NCO named Air Force finance superintendent of the year for 2021

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christian Soto
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Master Sgt. Robert L. Jones was named the winner of the Chief Master Sgt. Larry P. Gonzales Superintendent of the Year Award, Dec. 3, 2021.

The award highlights the best Financial Management and Comptroller senior enlisted leader throughout the Air Force.

“This is my first time in a superintendent position,” said Jones, the senior enlisted leader for the 71st Comptroller Squadron and Wing Staff Agencies. “I am a master sergeant sitting in typically what would be a senior master sergeant position.

“To win this award is a big deal to me, because it shows that I am doing what I am expected to do at the Air Force level in order to take care of people and the carry out the mission,” said Jones.

Jones’ number one quality as a leader is his genuine interest in seeing his people do well, said Maj. Rey Heron, the commander of the 71st CPTS.

“He truly cares about how his folks are taken care of, the mentorship they are provided, and how they perform,” Heron said.

“A main focus of his is also how their performance is documented. Whether it is annual evaluations, decorations or awards, Jones is aware of the significant role that documentation plays in a member’s career and how it can affect them in achieving their goals,” said Heron.

There are certain traits that leaders need in order to be successful, Jones said. “It’s important to be direct with people, and not be afraid to speak your mind when you have an idea or a solution to a problem,” he said.

“Learning how to write and communicate stuck with me,” said Jones, a 17-year Air Force veteran. “You need to communicate effectively about what is going on within your organization to accomplish the mission or to take care of the people.”

An Air Force-level achievement speaks to the professionalism and dedication of each member of the team, said Heron. The majority of a senior leader’s award package is based on the accomplishments of the entire team and not their own individual efforts. “For that reason, every Airman of the 71st Wing Staff Agencies should take pride in this award,” Heron said.

Although his name is on the award, Jones said the award reflects the hard work and dedication of his entire squadron.

“This award is a representation of all of you,” said Jones. “My job is to lead you guys effectively and make sure you're getting everything you need to do the job.”

Moving forward, Jones aspires to attain the rank of a senior master sergeant before retiring to San Antonio. “I wholeheartedly believe if it is meant to be it will be,” said Jones. “Nevertheless, my job is still to take care of my people and carry out the mission. If I get promoted then so be it.”