The 944th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., recently announced its quarterly award winners.
Airman of the Year
Reserve Citizen Airman Senior Airman Genevieve Gaylor, 924th Maintenance Squadron, was awarded the 944th Fighter Wing Airman of the Year for 2021. In 2021, Gaylor tested 95 missiles, which led to $18M in increased combat readiness for 110 Active Duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Component pilots. For her work, she was coined by 924th Fighter Group Command Chief. Gaylor vetted 48 pilot reported discrepancies and oversaw 76 evaluations with 25 missiles overhauled, with a 94 percent fully mission capable rate that saved the 944th $2.2 million in replacement costs. Gaylor renewed $3.5 million in equipment when she trained eight Airmen and repaired six test sets, coordinated three emergency calibrations, and eliminated a seven month backlog. On top of completing the above tasks, Gaylor completed a field training detachment missile course, Airman Leadership School, and two personal development classes and utilized the skills as a liaison for a total force integration working group. For all of her work she was coined by the ALS Commandant. She also served as the 924th Fighter Group Airman Counsel President and organized four resiliency and financial briefs that empowered Command Chief Master Sgt’s vision for Airman mentorship for 150 personnel.
NCO of the Year
Reserve Citizen Airman Tech. Sgt. Orlando Rodriguez, 944th Operations Group Detachment 1, was awarded the 944th Fighter Wing Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for 2021. Rodriguez managed a $2.3M airfield program during deployment. He organized the repair of 210 lightning systems which increased night operations across three airfields. Over the year, Rodriguez led a Fire Warden program and executed 26 safety inspections, identified and eliminated 25 inoperable fire prevention equipment which protected 150 personnel and $2.1 million in facilities. He also led five personnel at a forwarding deployment location and during that time he established safety protocols and enabled 1.1K combat flights. Rodriguez accomplished six credit hours for his bachelor’s degree in Engineering, with five credits from the Community College of the Air Force. His efforts bolstered leadership skills and inspired him to mentor 60 Airmen. Rodriguez went on to graduate from a First Sergeant seminar gaining supervisory and conflict resolution skills that helped him served as undershirt during his deployment.
Senior NCO of the Year
Reserve Citizen Airman Master Sgt. Corry Yokley, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, was awarded the 944th Fighter Wing Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for 2021. Yokley responded to a 68 part Mass Casualty exercise, back-filled medical supplies, and served as a 15-hour trauma critical leader for preservation and evacuation. Yokley directed US MedLog support for Hamid Karzai Airport casualties with 52 staff and 62 trauma patients treated, with 100 percent evacuated over 15 hours. Yokley estimated MedLog standard operating procedures for Kabul Airport and U.S. Embassy; streamlined the supply chain with 100 percent requests captured and a 98 percent order fill rate. He supported an Afghan refugee camp and provided shelter, food, water, and wash facilities to 1,250 people and 147 orphans. He was selected for a First Sgt. training course, led 10 AFSCs with zero mishaps, and trained 48 Airmen.
First Sergeant of the Year
Reserve Citizen Airman Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Gordoa, 924th Maintenance Squadron, was awarded the 944th Fighter Wing First Sergeant of the Year for 2021. Gordoa was the lead Shirt for Unit Training Assembly newcomers. He briefed them on Airman expectations, resources, and UCMJ to enhance the 40 new members’ knowledge of unit and mission requirements. Gordoa led and trained undershirts on roles, responsibilities, and resources allowing the Senior Non-Commissioned Officers a smooth transition for their additional duties all while upholding his group First Sergeant requirements. Gordoa supported one of his deployed Airmen by briefing an employer on USERRA rights, fostering a seamless civilian reemployment return. He established the Fighter Group Airmen’s Council, organized leadership, and held four development events for 152 personnel. He was ultimately was coined by Fighter Group Command Chief for his work.