Limitless Motivation – Staff Sgt. Ariel Geldien

  • Published
  • By Capt. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group Public Affairs

A chance to serve our nation, a chance for further education, a defined career path; there are many reasons why people volunteer to join the military. For Staff Sgt. Ariel Geldien, the Reserves provided time and resources for her to accomplish four associate degrees and nearly complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. 

Traditional Reservists stay current in their deployment readiness with training through monthly drill weekends in addition to two weeks of annual training.

“I just moved to Mississippi to finish my degree, so I drive over seven hours to meet my military obligations,” said Geldien, 913th Maintenance Squadron electronic environmental technician. “My leadership has been very supportive. When I have classes that restrict my ability to commute up to Little Rock, leadership coordinated a way for me to complete my military training with a closer unit.”


Geldien recently completed Airman Leadership School and received the John L. Levitow Award. The award is the highest award for enlisted Professional Military Education in the Air Force and is presented to the student who demonstrates outstanding leadership and scholastic achievement.

“I never set out to win any award. I used and passed on the study habits and skills I’ve picked up over the years,” said Geldien. “I enjoy helping others. My classmates even nicknamed me ‘mom’.” 

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Geldien is considering commissioning to become an officer. 

“I’m extremely proud of all of her accomplishments so far. She has already been a great asset to the group and to the Reserves,” said Col. Christopher Lay, 913th AG Commander. “We will certainly leverage her skills and knowledge to improve our processes.”


Airmen are required to attend ALS prior to pining on the rank of Staff Sgt.