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Peterson-Schriever Garrison NCO wins national award

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kayla Roberts, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, speaks with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, U.S. Space Force Senior Enlisted Advisor, and additional Peterson-Schriever Garrison leadership, at her residence, Feb. 19, 2021. Roberts’ leadership surprised her with a Zoom call, where Bass and Towberman congratulated her for being recognized as the 2020 GEICO Military Service award recipient in the fire and safety category. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kayla Roberts, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, speaks with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, U.S. Space Force Senior Enlisted Advisor, and additional Peterson-Schriever Garrison leadership, at her residence, Feb. 19, 2021. Roberts’ leadership surprised her with a Zoom call, where Bass and Towberman congratulated her for being recognized as the 2020 GEICO Military Service award recipient in the fire and safety category. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kayla Roberts, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector. Roberts was recognized in Feb. 19, 2021 as the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award recipient for her exceptional contributions and service in fire and safety. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kayla Roberts, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector. Roberts was recognized in Feb. 19, 2021 as the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award recipient for her exceptional contributions and service in fire and safety. (Courtesy photo)

Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. --

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kayla Roberts, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, was recognized as the 2020 GEICO Military Service Award recipient in the category of fire and safety for her exceptional service and contributions, Feb. 19, 2021.

The GEICO Military Service Awards Program highlights and pays tribute to the many contributions of our nation's military enlisted members. In support of the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation, the awards program helps spotlight the valuable and lasting contributions that enlisted members of the armed services make within their communities.

In February, U.S. Air and Space Force leadership used virtual technology to surprise Roberts, with a Zoom call from leaders including Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass and Chief Master Sgt. of the Space Force Roger Towberman, to congratulate her.

“The Zoom call definitely caught me off guard,” said Roberts. “Speaking with them was incredible. Chief Bass asked me questions like, ‘What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?’ It was cool to see that she cares about my family life, in addition to wanting to recognize me.”

Roberts worked tirelessly to complete 139 annual building inspections despite a 60% depletion in office staffing. Due to her work ethic, there was a correction in 85 fire safety deficiencies directly improving the work environment and safety for 9,000 total force members.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Samantha Beck, 21st CES assistant chief of accreditation and compliance, and Robert’s supervisor, says Roberts is one of the most hardworking and genuine firefighters she has worked alongside.

“She puts her heart into everything she touches and the outcome of her work shows that,” said Beck. “It is so great to work with someone who takes their work seriously and gives 110%, but is also easy going and makes work fun. She’s always wanting to learn more and receive more training to better understand all aspects of her job. Her drive is truly inspirational.”

 Roberts said the honor of the award resonates with her role as a woman in the military and in the fire service.

“Being given the chance to do fire prevention, which is a competitive position to obtain, and then finding out that I won this award feels like a huge accomplishment,” said Roberts. “It’s not easy to stand out and feel confident when you are working as a female in the fire department.

Roberts said that while she is proud of earning the award, she didn’t earn it by herself.

“I feel like [the award] was won by my fire prevention team,” said Roberts. “It started with my leadership giving me the opportunity to work in fire prevention and the team I worked with having the confidence in me to do my job, grow and push me, allowing me to grow.”

As one of the award recipients, Roberts will attend a formal recognition ceremony in Washington D.C. 

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