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Wingler wins 'Wing Woman of the Year'

by Airman 1st Class Andrea Thacker
Thunderbolt editor

Fifteen women were nominated for the 6th Air Mobility Wing Woman of the Year award and Capt. Ilaina Wingler was selected to represent the women of MacDill.

The award nomination form asked for personal attributes that enhance the advancement of women in the federal workplace and significant contributions and recognition received by each nominee.

"Capt. Wingler is a role model for women in the Federal workplace," said Lt. Col. Joesph Maiden, Life Skills Support flight commander. "From day one, she has made a significant impact at MacDill, rising in leadership positions in what has traditionally been a male dominated environment."

Wingler is recognized base-wide as an exemplary spokesperson and embodiment of the Air Force image, consistently being hand selected by leadership to represent the Wing at high visibility events such as the Air Force Gala and Year of the Warrior Spirit Dining Out.

"She reaches out to other women as a mentor, influencing and encouraging them to pursue careers in the Federal workplace through her organization and participation in numerous college career fairs," said Maiden. "Her leadership, visibility, and involvement promote a positive, competent, image of women, enhancing their advancement." Wingler was gracious and brief regarding the award.

"I feel extremely proud and honored to win the award," said Wingler.

As Chief of Behavioral Health, Wingler is in a unique position to understand and advance the needs of women in the Federal workplace, creating a Women's Trauma Recovery Program, providing family pre-deployment briefings, and serving as the 6th Medical Group Victim Witness Advocate for victims of crime. While reading an article recently Wingler recalls something that inspired her.

"We (women) are doing things that our grandmothers could never do," she said. "Being a woman in the military, I could definitely relate to that. I am very proud to be in the Air Force serving my country, and to know that I have positively contributed to the advancement of women is a great honor."

She went on to say she loves her job and being in the military.

"I am determined and I look to many of the strong, successful women here at MacDill, such as Col. Sandy Glover, 6th Medical Support Squadron commander, and Col. Barb Jacobi, 6th Support Group commander, in formulating my goals." When asked what advice she would give women of today's military, Wingler had this to say: "You can achieve anything when you set your mind to it as long as you maintain a positive attitude. Nothing can stop you from achieving your goals except for yourself. Learn how to effectively manage your stress because it will always be there. Look around and find yourself a mentor, someone you can look up to and learn from. Maintain your professionalism even in the face of disappointment and learn from setbacks rather then letting them get the best of you."





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