Mom, daughter reflect on Air Guard service

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Tinashe Machona
  • 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Although set on different paths for military service, Master Sgt. Peggy Schmidt and Staff Sgt. Nichole Jordan experience a unique journey very few Airmen would understand. Characterized by dedication, tradition and ultimately love, their mother-daughter relationship gained the respect of fellow unit members.

Although assigned to different units here since 2011, both serve side-by-side at the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

“It is beneficial to work with my mother because she sets the bar for me to exceed,” said Jordan, who works as an aerospace medical technician with the wing’s medical group. She added that her mother sets a good example of Airmanship and challenges her to always exceed expectations.

Jordan said she initially join the Arizona Air National Guard for education benefits, but gradually her desire for continued service was fueled by a specific Air Force core value – service before self. “I can make a difference in this Air Force of ours, and being a one percenter, like many of my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, is something to be proud of,” said Jordan.

Both Airmen currently serve in a full-time capacity.

“I like the whole generation-effect thing that I share with my mother on this base,” Jordan said. “At times I feel like a protégé of my mom’s, but that just motivates me to continue improving myself in my own way.”

Schmidt, a supply supervisor for the logistics readiness squadron, said she’s proud to serve with her daughter in uniform. “It’s a pleasure for me to work with Nichole because it puts a smile on my face knowing that my daughter is right across the street and she is always there when I need her,” she said.

In addition to her supervisory duties, Schmidt is the squadron’s health monitor.

“I think Sergeant Jordan gets a lot of strong features from having a military mother,” said Master Sgt. June Nicholas, who works as a full-time health technician at the wing. “Staff Sergeant Jordan is very ambitious and she gets her leadership skills from her mother.”

Schmidt also highly encourages her daughter’s participation on the base color guard team. “Before the team even steps out on the field, I am so proud of Nichole and the team,” said Schmidt. “That pride is for everyone on the team because they represent the base so well, but I am particularly proud of my daughter for joining on her own.”

Schmidt, a 31-year veteran, was once a member of the honor guard drill team when she attended Northern Arizona University.

“I am extremely proud of my daughter,” said Schmidt. “I know that eventually I will be gone and she will be setting her own pace and then maybe she will have her own kids do the same thing.”

Jordan tells her mother how much she loves her and appreciates her support in what she does. “I love my mother with all my heart,” said Jordan. “She is always there for me and I would not have it any other way than to serve my country with my mother.”