Salutes & Awards

March 14, 2013

Excellence In All They Do: AZANG Recognizes Outstanding Airmen

Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith

162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

There may have been no stream of paparazzi lining a red carpet at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa, but the Arizona Air National Guard’s own stars showed up in their service and mess dress uniforms at the 2013 Outstanding Airman of the Year Banquet (OAY) award ceremonies here March 9.

All the Arizona Air Guard’s units – from the 107th Air Control Squadron to the 162nd Fighter Wing – were present to honor Airmen who in 2012, exemplified the highest professional standards of the guard’s most valued asset – its people.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Richard A. Smith, formerly the ninth Command Chief Master Sergeant to the Director, National Guard Bureau, served as the keynote speaker for the occasion. “They fulfill and define the greatest military organization in the world,” said Smith, referring to the 23 nominees of the evening. “These Airmen went above and beyond their AFSC or job title.”

Though the event was ultimately geared toward the nominees, OAY was an opportune moment for all attending Arizona Airmen to express their gratitude toward each other, reinforcing the “buddy” concept of being a good wingman inside and outside the confines of their respective units.

“It’s not a 9-5 thing we do at work, and we have to get each other’s backs,” said Capt. David Fitzmaurice, Assistant Director of Operations from the 107th Air Control Squadron. But the evening, according to Fitzmaurice, was about “bringing us all together in a casual setting while honoring those who are nominated.”

Juergens, the aircraft fuel systems repair shop NCOIC who won in the Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year category, credits his victory to the dedicated Airmen who surround him whenever he puts on his ABUs and reports for duty.

“As a shop supervisor, my success is a direct reflection of their success,” he said. “They’re (his crew) the engine that makes it happen.”

But in achieving excellence, Juergens points to military life-lessons that require focus and dedication.

“Set goals, learn your job well, enjoy where you’re at, and never take it for granted,” he said.

Grounded in protocol and rooted in honor, formal award ceremonies are time-honored, military traditions – connecting a modern-day fighting air power in the desert to warriors dating back to B.C times. Thus, the extravagant nature of the banquet was not lost on the attending Airmen.

During one of the many introductions of the evening, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Irving, Arizona State Command Chief, said not all 54 states and territories were able to hold such an award ceremony, and he thanked the Phoenix Air National Guard (PANG) Patriots – a military support organization – in particular for making the function a reality.

Along with other monetary prizes from various organizations such as GEICO and AAFES, PANG presented each of the OAY winners with a $250 check. Additionally, Arizona Air Guard winners will eventually compete against other states’ Airmen, ending in final competition against the winners of other Air Force components.

Congratulations to the 2012 winners!

 

Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Russell Shirley, assigned to the 214th Air Reconnaissance Group.

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. William Reid, assigned to the 107th Air Control Squadron.

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. David Juergens, assigned to the 162nd Fighter Wing.

First Sergeant of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Marclen Polanco, assigned to the 162nd Fighter Wing.

Honor Guard Member: Staff Sgt. Ty Alan Goeken, assigned to the 162nd Fighter Wing.

Command Chief Master Sergeant Award: Tech. Sgt. Susan Koncz, assigned to the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

Major General Donald L. Owens Junior Officer of the Year: Capt. Matthew S. Hodges, assigned to the 162nd Fighter Wing.

 

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Decorations processing initiated through vPC

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Supervisors of active-duty Airmen can now use the virtual Personnel Center via myPers to initiate and track decorations throughout the review and approval process. “The online application allows for automated routing and approval, in addition to prepopulating certain personnel data in the forms,” said Christine Stingley, the military...
 
 

D-M Air Force Clubs Scholarship Program winner

Delaney Alyssa Drew receives a check for $500 from the Air Force Clubs Scholarship Program by 2nd Lt. Charles Hulsizer, 355th Force Support Squadron career development chief, Col. Rodger Schuld, 355th Mission Support Squadron commander, and Maj. Stephen Anderson, 355th Force Support Squadron commander. Air Force Services, Food & Beverage Branch announced the winners of...
 

 

Service star authorized on GWOT Expeditionary Medal

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Active-duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen who earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for more than one of the five Defense Department approved Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal operations may now wear a service star device on the medal and service ribbon for the second and...
 
 

Technical sergeant promotion release delayed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS), officials announced. The 2015 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation...
 
 

New automated evals, decorations processing available

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Beginning in May, supervisors of active-duty Airmen will be able to initiate, process, track and sign officer and enlisted evaluations using myPers, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced May 15. Additionally, beginning in June, supervisors of active-duty members will be able to use myPers to initiate and track...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>