November Airman Spotlight

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  • 175th Wing Public Affairs
Name: Sara Nittinger

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Unit: 135th Intelligence Squadron

Military Job Description: Commander's Support Staff

Full-time Job: Same

Hometown: Baltimore

Joined the MDANG: 2009

Total Service Years: 4

Family: Spouse - Pei Chi Ong

Favorite Movie: The Sound of Music

Last Book Read: The Goal (Eliyahu Goldratt)

Favorite Food: Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noddle Soup)

Favorite Sports Team: Baltimore Ravens

Tell us your brief life story: I was born in 1986 in Baltimore, Maryland and I grew up in Perry Hall, Maryland. I moved to Georgia with my family in 2002 and graduated from Hiram High School in 2004. After completing my bachelor's degree at the University of Georgia, I moved back to Maryland to be closer to my family. I held several jobs, including customer service at the Home Depot and waiting tables at various restaurants. I'm currently studying for my Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College.

Tell us about your military career: I chose to enter the Maryland Air National Guard because I wanted to build a successful career and serve in my local community. I'm a knowledge operations manager and I work fulltime as the commander's support staff. My most memorable experience was deploying to Kandahar with the 135th Airlift Group. I really enjoyed the high OPTEMPO and we truly made a difference for the troops on the ground by providing vital airdrops and transportation. I made a lot of great friends on that deployment.

What brought you to the MDANG:  The MDANG has always been a part of our community and I fondly remember attending air shows and other events as a child. When I made the decision to join the military, it was an easy choice to serve in the community where I grew up. The MDANG is like a big extended family, and I love being a member.

What is your favorite Air Force or military memory or story: My proudest moment came while I was on my deployment to Afghanistan. I sang the national anthem at our squadron deactivation ceremony and I received coins from a two-star general and a command sergeant major for my performance. I was also awarded an Army Commendation Medal for that deployment.

What are you passionate about:  To be perfectly honest, if I won the lottery tomorrow I would still be part of the MDANG because I love my job. In my spare time, I am pursing my MBA. I'm also the head coach of the Towson University Women's Rugby Team and I volunteer for a local animal rescue.