Washington DC – A commendation from United States President Barak 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 for 28 years.
Col. Payne-Borden had served the 779th medical group at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Payne-Borden, who is the current president of the Washington-based Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA), also received citations, letters of commendation and proclamations from Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Anthony Brown; the Maryland House of Delegates; Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie; Chief Nurse of the US Air Force, Major General, Dorothy Hogg; and County Executive Rushern Baker, of Prince Georges County, Maryland.
Col. Payne-Borden was honored 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 on Friday, July 18, 2014.
President Obama’s commendation was read by clinical systems nurse assistant, Maj. Nattasha Sutton. In it, President Obama extended his personal thanks and the sincere appreciation of a colorful nation for her contribution of honorable 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 Lt. Governor Brown praised Col. 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 Vasciannie congratulated Col. 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 to her, Col. Sandra Tynes on behalf of the US Air Force outlined the span and history of Col. 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, Col. Payne-Borden said she was honored to have served her country and implored young Americans to look to the US Army as a career option.
Among those in attendance at the retirement ceremony were Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Jamaica, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban, who represented the Ambassador; and former Jamaican deputy representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Curtis Ward and wife, Sonia Ward.