Hill Airman one of Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year
By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 19, 2020
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The Air Force recently named Senior Airman Roxanne Darien, a community health technician with the 75th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, as one of the service’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
Annually, the Air Force selects 12 enlisted Airmen from various career fields based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements. The Airmen serve as “ambassadors” for the enlisted force.
Darien said there was shock and disbelief when Hill’s 75th Air Base Wing Commander, Col. Jon Eberlan delivered the good news.
“I heard someone call the room to attention, so I spun around in my chair and stood up, Darien said. “It was Colonel Eberlan. He read the whole letter about the 12 outstanding Airmen. I kind of just stood there for a second before it sank in that he really said I was selected. I never imagined it would be me.”
Darien was born in Slipe, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, where her parents still live. She attended an all-girl high school where a lot of rules and discipline prepared her for a successful Air Force career.
She joined the Air Force having already obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science and will graduate in July from Florida Institute of Technology with a masters in management acquisition and contracting.
Helping people is what Darien said she loves about doing her Air Force job in occupational medicine.
“I talk to people every single day and help them through their struggles,” Darien said. “When people walk up to the window and tell me they’ve been confirmed with a medical condition, it’s already a bad day for them. So the best thing I can do is help them be a little more at ease. That’s what I love about my job.”
She helps people, but people helping Darien is how she’s gotten to this point in her career.
“I’ve been blessed with great leadership from the beginning of my career all the way through now,” she said. “I consider my entire flight leadership as mentors. I’m really grateful to have people who genuinely care about me and genuinely care about my career. They’re my second family.”
Darien’s first family, specifically her mom, is also a huge influence on her success.
“My mom says the only thing that makes her really happy is when I succeed,” Darien said. “So everything I do, I have her in mind. My mom is my biggest cheerleader.”
The 12 OAY winners earn the Outstanding Airman ribbon with the bronze service star device and wear the Outstanding Airman badge for one year. They also serve on the service’s Air Force Enlisted Council for one year.
Understanding that this recognition also comes with an obligation to make a difference in the lives of others, Darien said it’s her responsibility to encourage other Airmen in their military career.
“I want to continue to help others and to tell my story,” she said. “I want to motivate people and inspire them to go higher than where I am today. It’s my responsibility to do that.”
The Air Force Association will honor Darien during their annual convention at a date to be determined in Washington, D.C.