By Charles J. Haymond, 55th Wing/Public Affairs
/ Published July 23, 2020
Staff Sgt. Oliver Vinegas, 55th Wing judge advocate general law paralegal, looks over a file July 22, inside the law center here. Vinegas won the 2020 Air Combat Command Outstanding Paralegal Airman of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)
A member of Team Offutt received the Air Combat Command Outstanding Paralegal Airman of the year.
Staff Sgt. Oliver Vinegas, 55th Wing judge advocate general law paralegal, was the recipient of the ACC Outstanding Paralegal Airman of the year. The award is presented to active-duty Airman in the grade of technical sergeant or below. It recognizes the most outstanding paralegal of the year based on those who have demonstrated superior initiative, technical skill, leadership ability and selfless dedication to their duty.
“No matter what we challenge him with, he tackles every task with enthusiasm and a positive attitude and just nails it, every single time,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jessica Moore, 55th Wing judge advocate law office superintendent. “There are very few people I get to say this about, but no matter what he is doing and who he is supporting, I’ve received 100% positive feedback – every time."
This level of consistency has helped propel him in various aspects of his life. Vinegas is constantly challenging himself to be better.
“He also sets his own bar very high, for example, he is a volunteer at Nebraska Medical Center in the pediatric in-patient unit and the Bellevue Medical Center Emergency Room,” Moore said. “Those are pretty impressive in their own right, and while he’s not busy with that, he’s been involved in the Offutt Airman’s Counsel as well as working on his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.”
While volunteering at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Vinegas provided twenty-one hours of 1 on 1 care which helped increase the quality of care for 180 sick children.
“I volunteer not only because of the core value 'service before self', but because I enjoy helping people,” Vinegas said. "I volunteer so much off-duty because I have found Nebraska Medical – Pediatrics and Emergency Room, Offutt Airmen Against Drunk Driving, and others that have missions that I am very passionate about, so it has never felt like work to me because I enjoy what I do.”
Lt. Col. Mark R. O’Neill, 55th Wing staff judge advocate, said he was thrilled when he found out that Vinegas won the award.
“It publically confirms that which anyone who has worked closely with Staff Sgt. Vinegas already knows, he is a consummate professional dedicated to excellence,” O’Neill said. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have him working in our office and serving the airmen and mission of the 55th Wing.”
The type of leader that Vinegas is becoming is what Moore knows will help improve Vinegas’s sphere of influence among others.
“His positivity and enthusiasm are infectious, and that combination of talents inspires everyone who knows him to want to do great things,” Moore said. “Vinegas has an outstanding reputation within the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and across the Air Force, this award just solidifies that. I, as well as many others, will be keeping an eye on Vinegas to see what his future holds.