Military Appreciation Month: Spotlight on an Airman Week 5

Warrior of the Week: Senior Airman Kelly McGrathby the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Editor’s note: May is Military Appreciation Month, and we’ll highlight a different Airman and his or her job once per week for this month. We’re truly grateful for the hard work each Airman puts forth each day, and every job — big or small – contributes to the U.S. Air Force being the best Air Force in the world. Is there a military member you appreciate? Tell us in the comments below.

Meet the Transit Center at Manas Warrior of the Week: Senior Airman Kelly McGrath, a contracting officer from the 376th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron. McGrath is deployed from 92nd CONS at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., and is a self proclaimed “military brat” who hails from Livingston, Texas.

What do you do on a daily basis at the Transit Center at Manas?
I’m a contingency contracting officer for our one-person commodities flight. It’s my responsibility to oversee the government purchase card program for the transit center. I also support and procure entertainment contracts and procure all commodities as needed by our many customers.

What do you enjoy about being at the Transit Center at Manas?
What I enjoy most about TCM is that I’m in a completely different country and I get to experience a new culture. I also get the opportunity to meet new people. This is my first deployment, so I also like that I’m getting to be part of a very unique experience in helping to shut down the base here.

Why did you choose to serve in the military?
I was at a point in my life that I felt like I was just spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere fast. So, something drastic needed to change. I always knew the military was an option for me coming from an Air Force military family background, but I didn’t give it much consideration in the past. Initially, I thought I would never serve, but it’s funny how life goes. Now that I’m in the Air Force, I wish I would have decided to join sooner.

How do you feel about your contributions to the Transit Center at Manas mission and current operations in the AOR?
I feel like I’m making a daily impact on the mission through all of the purchases I make for my customers as well as the contractual and shipping issues that I work through on a daily basis. It’s been a very rewarding experience being a one-woman show for the commodities flight, and aiding my customers in meeting their purchasing requirements.

Time at the Transit Center at Manas:
4 months and 3 weeks

Time in Air Force:
3 years and 2 months

Greatest accomplishment:
Receiving the 2013 Air Mobility Command Contracting Airman of the Year Award.

Goals you want to achieve or meet while at the Transit Center at Manas:
I wanted to experience the local culture and make an impact by spending time at many of the local orphanages and the American Kant Corner School. I also would like to bench press 150 lbs. by the time I leave Manas. I’m current lifting 135 lbs. so I’m on my way.

Hobbies:
Reading, sewing, quilting, arts and crafts, cooking/baking, exercising (weight lifting and boxing/kick-boxing), photography and traveling.

Your best habit:
My attention to detail.

Favorite quote:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Favorite movies:
Beauty and the Beast, Wall-E, Star Wars, Star Trek, Wreck-It Ralph, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Twilight.

Who is your favorite mentor and what did you learn from him/her:
My parents. They’ve always supported me in everything I do and pushed me to better myself. They helped shape me into the person I am today. I couldn’t have asked for any two better role models and mentors in my life.

If you could spend one hour with any person, who would it be and why:
It would be my grandpa. He passed away when I was about 4 years old, so I didn’t get to really know him and have him be a part of my life. What little I remember of him he was a great loving grandpa and his time here was too short.

PHOTO: Senior Airman Kelly McGrath, 376th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron contingency contracting officer, writes a contract for a customer at Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, March 22, 2014. McGrath’s responsibilities include overseeing the Government Purchase Card program here and supporting and procuring all commodities need by customers as well as entertainment contracts for the Transit Center and Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman George Goslin/Released)

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Military Appreciation Month: Spotlight on an Airman Week 5