Base Services now includes singer services

  • Published
  • By SrA Enjoli Saunders

Master Sgt. Angela P. Keys, base services manager at the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, receives frequent requests to sing at events held at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md.

Keys did not always perform for the MDANG, but has been singing all her life. She now has the opportunity to combine a lifelong hobby with her everyday job. She began her current journey with the MDANG as a senior airman in 2007.

"I spent eight years in the Mississippi Air National Guard, then two years in the Hawaii Air National Guard," said Keys. "I had no intentions on re-enlisting after a 21 year break in service. However, after a conversation with an MDANG recruiter I found myself as the newest member of the 175th Wing."

While an Airman, Keys remembers her first family day at the wing. She remembers seeing the services superintendent scurrying around in a frenzy because the musicians scheduled to perform the National Anthem cancelled at the last minute. Keys, a senior airman at the time, volunteered to sing it. This action displayed one of the Air Force's core value of service before self.

"Needless to say the superintendent was nervous; he had never heard me sing or even knew if I could sing," said Keys. "He told me that services plays an integral role in this event and I was going to be representing them so I needed to be sure I was ready."

That Family Day marked Keys first performance at an MDANG event. Since then, she has performed at numerous events that range from Airman of the Year Ceremonies to community support for Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day representing the wing.

The 175th Wing is Maryland's only Air National Guard unit. The wing has a dual mission, a flying mission, offering air support with the A-10C Thunderbolt II and a cyber mission. Both missions provide unique access and opportunities to its members. 

"During my time here I've had the privilege to receive a short tour at the Pentagon as well as serve in the command office with Brig. Gen. Scott L. Kelly," said Keys. "The opportunities this base provided me did not just help me but my family also."

"Master Sgt. Keys has been a great asset while working in the command office with me," said Master Sgt. Michele Cook, wing command support staff. "I would call her the protocol expert. I am sure she will have the same commitment in her new position as the base services manager."

Keys now understands why that first impression of family day was so important.

"I love my job as the services manager because we impact and interact with every member on base," said Keys. Her career has led her back to the beginning, from her initial national anthem performance representing services to becoming the services manager.