Compassion, hard work can pay off

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Darius Frazier
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

“When they initially told me I was a candidate to compete to be recognized by the Vice Chief of Staff, I thought to myself ‘wait a minute, me?,” said Tech. Sgt. Ashley Ishmon, a Defense Paralegal for the Area Defense Counsel, describing the moment she found she was in the running out of everyone in her position in the Air Force to be recognized and coined by the Vice Chief of Staff.


Ishmon recently was part of a virtual coining ceremony. She says her work ethic and compassion are what got her there.


“I definitely feel like compassion is a unique trait to me in this job field,” says Ishmon. “I just have a heart for people and that means sometimes I have to catch myself because it’s almost like I baby the Airmen and tell them ‘oh, it’s going to be okay’.”


She made sure to express that in a world that we live in today, it’s important to give others a bit of hope and show that compassion.


“People, especially in a world like the one we’re in now, have little hope in life,” said Ishmon. “We had a client recently who my boss was on the phone with and they started crying. I'm a compassionate cryer so when someone else cries, I want to help them.”


While she says compassion is uncommon in her field it isn’t necessarily bad for others to not share the same compassion.


“I do bring a lot of that but I have heard of some paralegals who aren’t as kind and gentle,” Ishmon laughed. “They know that the rules are the rules, and it’s not that they don’t care, it’s more that they can turn that emotion off to better get the job done.”


The coining was an unexpected surprise, according to Ishmon.


“I consider myself to be relatively humble so to me it was just an honor to be recognized,” said Ishmon. “A Thursday night rolls around,and I was at the gym because I was having a bad day and wanted to release some steam that way and I remember getting a call from Washington D.C. I didn’t answer it because I didn’t recognize the number, but immediately got a text from my other boss telling me to call him when I could.”


She said she immediately called him when she read the text.


“I called him, still out of breath and I ask ‘what's going on?’ and he just says ‘you did it, you won,’ and I just couldn’t believe it,” said Ishmon. “We’re talking about the Vice Chief of Staff and recognition by him over everyone else across the Air Force was just amazing.”


She continued to tell how work ethic helped her accomplish the things she’s done.


“I’ve always been a hard worker because I come from a family of hard workers, especially my mother,” said Ishmon. “It’s just natural to me. I tell others who want to retrain into this field ‘if they don’t want to work hard then this isn’t the career for them.’”


When asked if this is just the beginning for her or if this is all just a culmination of what she’s done, she said it’s a mix of both.


“This year I started and hit the ground running,” said Ishmon. “Sometimes it’s hard to just find time to think about everything you’ve done.”


Ishmon says she has to step it up next year, since she’s going up for the E7 board next year.


“I had a phenomenal year,” said Ishmon. “However, I know next year I somehow have to step it up and top it but I know I can do it.”