Col. Jacqueline Payne-Borden (right), receives the President of the United States certificate of Appreciation from Col. Sandra Tynes at a retirement ceremony held to honour Colonel Payne-Borden’s 28 years of service to the US Air Force. (Derrick Scott photo)
By Derrick A. Scott
WASHINGTON, USA -- A commendation from US President Barack Obama featured among accolades bestowed upon Jamaican-born colonel Jacqueline Motherselle Payne-Borden as she retired recently from the US Air Force Reserve as chief nurse executive, after serving 28 years.
Payne-Borden had served the 779th medical group at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and she was honoured at a retirement ceremony filled with pomp and pageantry, attended by just over 200 Army officials, dignitaries, friends and family at the Fort McNair Officer’s Club in Washington, DC, last Friday.
President Obama’s commendation was read by clinical systems nurse assistant, Maj. Nattasha Sutton. In it, Obama extended his personal thanks and the sincere appreciation of a colourful nation for her contribution of honourable service to the United States.
“You have helped maintain the security of the nation during a critical time in its history, with a devotion to duty and a spirit of sacrifice in keeping with the proud tradition of military service,” he said.
He noted that her commitment and dedication had been an inspiration to those who would follow in her footsteps and for all Americans who joined with him in saluting her for a job extremely well done.
Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown praised Payne-Borden for her dedicated and outstanding service within the US Air Force and for the high standard of professionalism and commitment to duty.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vasciannie congratulated Payne-Borden for her 28 years of service in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps.
He said, “Through your hard work and exemplary performance you have risen to the rank of colonel in this noble and vitally important institution, where your career began as a flight nurse caring for the wounded, ill and injured. It is commendable that in your quest to continue excelling in your chosen field, you have demonstrated commitment to the assigned task and dedication to duty.”
He said it was understandable that her final unique assignment was at the headquarters of the Air Force Special Investigations Unit at Quantico, Virginia.
The ambassador also extended congratulations on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica.
In paying tribute, Col. Sandra Tynes on behalf of the US Air Force outlined the span and history of Payne-Borden’s career in the Air Force, where she started out as a flight nurse assistant, moving up through the ranks to become a medical crew director on various missions.
Tynes said, “Jackie was the quintessential professional in seeing to the recovery of a former American hostage.”
She saluted her tireless dedication and contribution positively impacted the medical service delivery of quality health care, both in garrison and in deployed settings.
“Through your service you have been an exemplary nurse corps officer whose passion has been to provide exceptional care and compassion to our heroes, past and future.”
In her response, Payne-Borden said she was honoured to have served her country and implored young Americans to look to the US Army as a career option.