By Army Sgt. Kimberly E. Jenkins
Defense Information School
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Antoinette Gibson is surrounded by photos and other items that remind her of her two daughters in her cubicle Aug. 24, 2016, at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade. Gibson, an instructor in the Basic Photojournalist Course-USAF, was selected as the school’s Warrior of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2016.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Antoinette Gibson is constantly on the move.
She is the mother of 4-year-old twin girls, a college student, an instructor in the Basic Photojournalist Course-USAF at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade, an ambassador for international students, a member of the joint forces color guard on post and a youth volleyball coach.
In addition, since June 20, Gibson has been the Warrior of the Quarter at DINFOS.
For Gibson, the first airman in two years to be recognized as Warrior of the Quarter, her greatest motivation is her job.
“You really have to find that one thing that pulls a heartstring for you,” she said. “If you’re excited about it, if you have a heart and a passion for it, you put a whole lot more into it.”
Gibson’s dedication and cooperative attitude made her a great addition to her department, said her supervisor, Air Force Master Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, the acting academic director of the public affairs department at DINFOS.
“She was awesome from day one,” Gatewood said. “You can ask her to do anything, and she will do it.”
Growing up in Goldsboro, North Carolina, as a military brat, Gibson was familiar with the military lifestyle.
In high school, she received a volleyball scholarship to attend Louisburg College in Louisburg, North Carolina.
During college, she wasn't focused on school, so she decided to join the active Air Force in 2007, she said.
“It changed my life,” Gibson said. “I don't know where I would be if I wasn’t in the Air Force. The Air Force shaped me.”
As a young airman, Gibson emulated her senior leaders, who truly embodied what great noncommissioned officers should look like, she said.
These days, she is working on a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in human resource management.
Gibson would like to receive a special duty assignment within her career field as a combat camera operator or conduct personal recovery missions at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, she said.
Her dream is to attend the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.
At DINFOS, Gibson had a week to prepare her paperwork and study for the warrior competition, which highlights outstanding performance by service members.
Gatewood was her escort to the board that identified the warrior of the quarter for the second quarter of 2016. He gave her words of encouragement and moral support.
The warrior competition consisted of Gibson answering questions in front of a panel of senior noncommissioned officers from different branches of the military.
She was judged on her uniform, her military records, her military knowledge and efforts at self-improvement.
“I wanted to make a lasting impression in their minds,” Gibson said. “Not necessarily what I said, but who I was. People never remember you for what you said but how you made them feel.”
During the board, she was sitting at attention, and Gatewood was sitting behind her, she said. Gibson turned around, and Gatewood gave her a reassuring smile. At that moment, she knew everything was going to be OK.
Gatewood said that she needn’t have worried.
“She nailed everything,” he said.
In fact, he said, she performed so well, “I was nervous for the other candidates.”