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SecAF lauds 50 years of federal service

SecAF lauds 50 years of federal service

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett speaks to Laura Gourgas, Officer Promotion manager at Hanscom, on the phone to congratulate her 50 years of service with the Air Force, Nov. 9. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Justin Brockhoff)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett called to congratulate a longtime federal civilian employee here Nov. 9 for her five decades with the Air Force.

Laura Gourgas, the Officer Promotion manager at Hanscom, spoke about what the phone call meant to her.

“It was quite an honor to get a phone call from Secretary of the Air Force Barrett to recognize my 50 years of federal service,” she said. “I love the Air Force; to hear from her, I couldn’t ask for more.”

Gourgas started her career at then-Hanscom Field on Nov. 9, 1970, after graduating from Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts.

She attributes her lengthy career to the lessons her father taught her as a child.

“My Dad instilled the Air Force core values in me long before I knew what the Air Force core values were,” Gourgas said. “Integrity was foremost in my upbringing. I see that in the Air Force and I tried to make that one of my bottom lines.”

Throughout her lengthy career, Gourgas has worked in many different areas on base and held many positions in the military personnel career field. She said working officer promotions for the former Electronic Systems Center was her favorite assignment.

“It was really important work for the officers across the Electronic Systems Center,” she said.

Throughout her career she’s been recognized many times for her outstanding work, including winning senior civilian of the year for the then-66th Air Base Wing and ESC in 2000.

Gourgas feared that when she hit the 50-year milestone, the expectation would be for her to retire.

“While speaking to the Secretary, I mentioned that I hope I can serve many more years,” she said. “I have had the honor to work with some incredible people throughout my career and hope to continue that for many more years.”

Raul Martinez, who supervises “Mrs. G,” as she’s affectionately known, spoke about what she means to the Military Personnel Flight team.

“Mrs. G is the epitome of excellence, professionalism, dedication and honor,” he said. “She is so passionate about her job and taking care of the Airmen.”

Col. Katrina Stephens, the installation commander, highlighted the noteworthy achievement of 50 years and having Secretary Barrett contact Gourgas.

“Laura Gourgas has had and continues to have an important role in the careers of so many Air Force officers,” said Stephens. “Having worked with each other earlier in our careers, I cannot express how proud I am of her achievement and recognition by Secretary Barrett.”

When asked what was next, Gourgas said she has no plans to retire.

“Retirement really isn’t in my vocabulary. I enjoy being mentally engaged,” she said. “I would like to continue serving the Air Force for years to come.”

Gourgas’ accomplishment follows another longtime Hanscom employee recognized for 75 years of federal service earlier this year.