Stand-Out Female: NCOIC of Debrief

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Danielle Conde
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
As a high school graduate, Lissa Nelson, from Atwater, California, didn't have any set goals for the future. Although she had enrolled in some community college classes, she stopped attending school after a short period of time. This made her parents angry since they were paying for her education, and lead them to suggesting she join the military.

In October 2004, Nelson decided to take a step forward and enlist in the Air force, which placed her in an aircraft hydraulic systems job. She wanted to get out of her comfort zone and try something different.

Today, as the current 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of debrief, Staff Sgt. Lissa Nelson said that her kids have been her motivation to continue her career and pursue a goal of 20 years in the service. 

"I want to do the best I can do at whatever job I am currently in so that my kids can see that hard work really pays off," she said.

Although she never intended on making the Air Force a career, Nelson had a change of heart around her eight-year mark when she decided it would be more beneficial to stay in the service.

In January 2013, Nelson filled the NCOIC of debrief position, where she and three other individuals are responsible for conducting debriefs for the 16 KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. These sessions ensure that any discrepancies discovered during the aircrew's flight are documented and fixed.

"My kids really motivate me to be the best person, and I take that with me to work," she said before adding that she hopes the Airmen around her are influenced to work hard as well.

To Nelson, the most rewarding part about her job is when the jets are able to fly and come down Code 1, which means with no discrepancies.

"Staff Sgt. Nelson is my 'go to' for all things related to debrief," said Senior Master Sgt. Chad Ream, 6th AMXS Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. "She absolutely plays a critical role in providing safe, reliable aircraft day in and day out." 

In January 2015, Nelson is scheduled to return to her primary job as an aircraft hydraulic operated system craftsman.

"I've been out of my primary career for a couple of years while doing debrief," she said. "I am ready to get back into it and get my hands dirty again."

Editor's note:
Staff Sgt. Lissa Nelson is the fifth of five females to be selected to be featured as a stand-out female Airman at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.