Down to Earth with Space Base Delta 1

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On this edition of Down to Earth, we’re checking in with Space Base Delta 1 to meet U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Victoria Jovel, 21st Force Support Squadron personnel specialist.

Jovel is from El Dorado Hills, California and enlisted in the Air Force in December 2015, six months after she graduated from Oak Ridge High School. Her drive to join stemmed from the memories she has watching both her mom and dad serve in the Air Force. She viewed their service as being a part of something bigger than themselves and wanted that for herself.

“When I was very young, my dad took me to his work at the controller tower on the flight line, and I remember sitting on the floor playing with my doll, and everyone talking with each other,” Jovel said. “Having this memory growing up made me feel as though I wanted to be in a community like that -- connected and inclusive.”

Jovel spent time at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, before arriving at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, in September 2020.

At the time of her arrival, the Space Force was in its first year as its own service component, and her flight was pivotal to transferring personnel records and career changes for the new interservice transfers. As the Space Force became more established, her role shifted to handling promotions as well as leading the E-4 'Below the Zone' program for the Guardians and Airmen under SBD 1’s purview.

“I love my job,” Jovel said. “Helping people is something that I hold very close to me, and I get to do just that with my job every day. It means everything to me. I have grown so much as an individual and as an Airman that I cannot see myself leaving the world’s greatest Air Force other than retiring!”

Jovel added that she also wants to become more involved with the military community here in Colorado and help create events and opportunities for members to enjoy.

"There is a sense of coming together that happens especially when the group is energetic and connective,” said Jovel. “It brings lots of fun and new connections -- Anything like promotion release parties, awards ceremonies, Sports Day, Resilience Day and so on. There is a purpose to those events and being able to create the appropriate energies and environment to include everyone is very heartwarming. We are one team one fight after all!”

The friendships forged within the community, both on and off base, give Jovel the connection that she values not only during Pride Month but every day. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she celebrates by spending time with fellow LGBTQ+ friends, whether there is an event going on, or just having a fun game night inside.

“I stay connected to my friends and long-distance friends daily,” said Jovel. “I am also proud to say that this year I am celebrating Pride Month with an organized discussion panel at the Peterson SFB Hub. There are many ways it can be celebrated; it doesn’t always have to be by going to a parade. I celebrate it with the simple act of surrounding myself with my closest friends.”

Jovel would like others who are not members of the LBGTQ+ community to understand the significance of Pride Month – she conveyed how the community has been attacked, shunned, discriminated against and depending on certain parts of the world, can be a death sentence because of others imposing their personal beliefs. Pride Month creates the platform to educate, get to know your neighbors better and make the community safer for everyone.

“To me, celebrating Pride Month is important to let our communities know where we have come from and where we are heading,” Jovel said. “We have a long history and are proud to be where we are today! Not only is the celebration typically a great time, but it is always such a welcoming and friendly environment, and I am firm in believing that educating everyone else on how much has changed and what still needs changing is important. Having that positive support is always a wholesome feeling.”

As the culture surrounding her community has shifted over the years, Jovel recalls her share of challenges while in the Air Force. As a young Airman, she would often overhear homophobic remarks from coworkers and her peers would make jokes about same-sex relationships. She decided that was no longer acceptable.

“I learned that it only takes one person to make a change ... doesn’t matter how small the act is, what matters is what you do about it,” Jovel said. “I had the courage to make a report and speak up.”

This experience, as difficult as it was, made Jovel persevere through her career, and helped her realize how she wants to lead others as a noncommissioned officer in the Air Force. She empowers others beside her and under her supervision to know that they do not have to be afraid to speak up, ask questions and take action. These qualities are what set her up as an example for other Guardians and Airmen during the Year of the NCO.

“Staff Sgt. Jovel has a vibrant personality that is so contagious, you can’t help but be happy when you are around her,” said Tech. Sgt. Danielle Wetzel, 21st FSS force management noncommissioned officer in charge. “Victoria joined the Air Force after ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed. She was able to come into the service not hiding who she is or who she loved, unlike so many of our brother and sisters before. Since day one, she has a great opportunity to help change the way less inclusive people think and has done a great job of doing so. The LGBTQ+ community embraces differences and others, and Staff Sgt. Jovel truly embodies that. She is accepting of everyone and ensures that everyone feels like they are part of the team.”

One of Jovel’s future career goal is to finish her degree in Human Resource Management by the end of the year. After she retires, she is hoping to make a career in social services or become a DoD civilian to continue helping military customers.

SBD 1 enables U.S. Space Force operations for 10 of the 13 USSF Space Deltas and more than 111 other mission partners across 22 world-wide operating locations by providing integrated Base Operating Support, Combat Service Support, and Delta Support Agency services.

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