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​TSgt. Cassandra Cruz, a professional military education instructor with the 81st Force Support Squadron at Keesler AFB, Miss. Air Force photo.

​TSgt. Cassandra Cruz, a professional military education instructor with the 81st Force Support Squadron at Keesler AFB, Miss., is one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2016. Cruz aided the Total Force Integration initiative by educating 113 Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command leaders, facilitating 1,000 hours of instruction. She identified credential shortfalls for her primary Air Force specialty code and aligned civilian requirements with the Career Field Education and Training Plan, enabling the expansion of seven additional certifications available to over 2,000 airmen. As a base victim advocate, she dedicated 1,300 hours to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, serving as a first responder and trainer for base personnel. She was recognized as a distinguished graduate from the Archibald Mathies NCO Academy’s Intermediate Leadership Experience. Air Force Magazine is shining the spotlight on each OAY in the days leading up to AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference, which starts Sept. 19 in National Harbor, Md. Also featured were: SMSgt. Mark Farmer, SMSgt. Jeremiah Grisham, SMSgt. Rebecca McNelley, MSgt. Marcus Mader, TSgt. Michael Asuncion, and TSgt. Sharry Barnshaw.