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/Mike Kaplan

Tuskegee Airman takes final flight at Academy

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) — (This feature is part of the “Through Airmen’s Eyes” series. These stories focus on individual Airmen, highlighting their Air Force story.) Franklin Macon’s f...
 
 
Photo: WoW_pict

Warfighter of the Week: Staff Sgt. Brad Johannes

DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz.  — Staff Sgt. Brad Johannes, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) manager of engineering operations, was recognized as the Warfighter of the Week, August 24. Johannes joined the Air Force in 20...
 
 
Promotion_pict

AF releases colonel, lieutenant colonel, major selection board results

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force selected 34 lieutenant colonels for promotion to colonel, 117 majors for promotion to lieutenant colonel and 272 captains for promotion to major during the cal...
 

 
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nikayla Shodeen

Women complete Swamp Phase, earn Army Ranger Tab

FORT BENNING, Ga.,— The U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence announced yesterday that 96 soldiers, including two women, met the standards of the Swamp Phase and will graduate from the Ranger Course Aug. 21. Ranger School ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant

Warfighter of the Week: Capt. Sabrina Gonzalez

Capt. Sabrina Gonzalez, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Operations, plans and assessments, executive officer, was recognized as the Warfighter of the Week, August 10, 2015. Gonzalez, a native of San Antonio, Texas, has bee...
 
 

Southern Methodist University receives honors from Raytheon

DALLAS (SMU) – Raytheon Company has named Southern Methodist University (SMU) as a strategic partner in cyber research based on the company’s collaborative efforts with the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.   The strategic partnership includes joint research projects in cyber security, Raytheon internships for SMU students,...
 




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>