A 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron member received the Colonel Cynthia L. Benulis Air Force Logistics Readiness Field Grade Officer of 2011 award.
Maj. Marie Meihls, 56th LRS director of operations received the prestigious award which is named in memory of Benulis who, despite a debilitating terminal illness, transformed her squadron into a proud, cohesive unit that subsequently won numerous honors in the Strategic Air Command. She was an exemplary leader who cared deeply for her people, the Air Force and her country.
Meihls arrived at Luke in July 2010 and has been in the military for 11 years. She has spent more than 16 months of the last 20 away from Luke Air Force Base.
â€œMajor Meihls has made an exceptional impact on the 56th LRS as well as her deployed unit in Afghanistan,â€ said Lt. Col. Michael Davis, 56th LRS commander.
She was recognized for her outstanding performance in her primary duties and significant contributions within the logistics community to the success of Air Force and Defense Department missions.
â€œThe deployed position I was filling is very unique, only about three field personnel in my career field are in these positions in Afghanistan,â€ Meihls said. â€œOur ability to influence the advancement of the Afghan air force toward independent operations is what we do on a daily basis and essential to Afghanistan becoming a fully functional air force by 2014.â€
â€œAbove all, Meihls is a dedicated, competent warfighter,â€ Davis said. â€œShe has endured significant professional as well as personal adversity over the entire award period and triumphed in every circumstance. She exemplifies solid leadership in these challenging times both in a deployed environment and at home station.â€
Meihls credits several organizations and personnel for her success.
â€œI have to give credit to the hardworking 56th LRS folks who kept things running while I was deployed and my deployed flight in the 439th Air Expeditionary Advisor Squadron who made a tough deployment so very much easier. Also Senior Master Sgt. David Belcher who put my package together and most of all Lt. Col. Michael Davis for supporting me while I was deployed and nominated me for the award,â€ she said. â€œWithout all of this support this would not be possible.â€