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By Kristian DePue, Staff Writer, Space Base Delta 1
/ Published June 01, 2022
PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. — U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandie Bleess, 21st Medical Group, family health technician, is Space Base Delta 1's, June 2022 Outstanding Performer of the Month. Bleess was selected because of her work ethic and positive attitude, which has been described as “above and beyond.” Here, Bleess is pictured in front of her white board. Her dry erase notes include “Additional Duties,” of which Bleess has taken upon herself to pursue improvements upon, which includes “suicide prevention” and the “referral log.” Also, with a desire to connect with a diversity of patients, she has a list of farewell phrases listed out in Turkish, Spanish and Korean. The outstanding performer’s favorite quote, which is often attributed to Albert Einstein, is: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” (U.S. Space Force photo by Kristian DePue)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandie Bleess, 21st Medical Group, family health technician, is Space Base Delta 1's outstanding performer of the month for June 2022.
“I was so surprised because I’d just returned from leave — and, in my mind, I'm just trying to improve things here for us and our patients,” says Bleess, reflecting on being chosen for this recognition. “I am extremely grateful, and although I’m being recognized for it, it’s because of a lot of different people, my team, that I’m being awarded.”
Bleess has been in the Air Force for just over three years, since February 2019, and she’s been stationed at Peterson Space Force Base for only six months, but is already making a big impression.
“Senior Airman Bleess shows up to work every day with the biggest smile on her face and a positive attitude,” says Bleess’s supervisor, Staff Sgt. Amber Lowery, 21st MDG, Family Health Clinic, aerospace medical technician. “Bleess goes above and beyond to make sure everyone is taken care of. She gives 100% at work, always striving to find ways to improve processes within the clinic to better the services provided to our patients.”
Bleess is from Fairfield, California, just north of the Bay Area and southeast of Napa.
“I lived in Northern California my whole life prior to the Air Force,” says Bleess. “My parents raised me to work hard. At times, I wish they went a little easier — but looking back now, I’m glad they didn’t.”
She was going to school and working multiple jobs, but felt as though she was spinning her wheels. She decided to pursue the U.S. Air Force.
“I had three jobs at one point and remember thinking, ‘I can’t live like this. I’m working so hard and still struggling to pay rent,’” says Bleess. “I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life like that. I knew I was worth more. Joining the military is exactly what I needed to do.”
After completing her second tech. school at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Bleess was stationed on the U.S. island territory of Guam in the Western Pacific, where she remained for two years before arriving at Peterson SFB.
“In Guam, I made unforgettable friends — lifelong friends out there, and it really changed me for the better,” says Bleess. “I could go on for hours about things I loved in Guam. The food was great. There was so much to do there. I went on tons of hikes. If you're outdoorsy, there is always something to do on Guam.”
Now stationed at Peterson SFB since February, Bleess has been found to be a positive and profound addition to the 21st MDG.
“In the last three months, Senior Airman Bleess has initiated a referral tracking process to recognize and track trends to help expedite care, and has also created trainings on different medical diagnosis to familiarize the technicians on both symptoms and medications associated with these diseases,” says Lowery. “By taking initiative, Bleess has decreased wait times and increased the skills and knowledge of our medics. As I mentioned, she is always striving to improve processes to better our services provided and maintain our training as medics.”
When asked what she appreciates most about the Air Force, Bleess quickly answers with, “The people, hands down.”
“You hear it every day; it’s what makes us the greatest force in the world. The people I’ve met have made me the woman I am today. The Air Force has helped me become more organized and improve my time-management. Essentially, it taught me the basics of how to be an adult. I am grateful for my experiences, but I’d like to reiterate that it’s because of the people I have been blessed to meet.”