Top performers recognized at 911 AW annual awards ceremony

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Hehnly
  • 911th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 911th Airlift Wing hosted its 2018 awards ceremony this month at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania.

The ceremony held annually recognizes individuals across the wing who stood out from their peers over the course of the year. The venue for the event was full of wingmen, distinguished visitors, and family members who attended to support and recognize the award winners and nominees.

Col. Douglas N. Strawbridge, commander of the 911th Airlift Wing, took to the stage and congratulated the award winners and nominees but also recognized all those in attendance for their support to those up for awards.

“Nobody does anything by themselves; it takes a team and that’s why we have shifted our mindset from an organization to a team,” said Strawbridge.

Strawbridge wanted to showcase not only the local-level award winners, but also recognized the numerous 911th AW individual Airmen and units who won awards above the wing level at the Air Force Reserve Command throughout the year.

Using a quote from one of the 911th AW’s chief master sergeants, Strawbridge stated, “If great is obtainable, then good is unacceptable.”

“That’s kind of the culture we live by here,” said the wing commander to the crowd. “When you have the time to break away from the other things, go back to good and make it great. That’s what this wing is about.”

This year, a special medallion was given to all those who exemplified this standard across the wing and earned a nomination from their respective units for the coveted civilian and military member of the year awards.

Each nominee was given the medallion prior to the awards ceremony and encouraged to don it during the duty day as a way to further recognize his or her individual efforts. The medallion represented the hard work, dedication and superior performance given by that individual throughout the year.

Nominees from across the wing competed for top honors in the ranks of Airman, noncommissioned officer, senior noncommissioned officer, company grade officer, field grade officer, civilian categories 1 & 2, base honor guardsman of the year, first sergeant of the year, and the Diamond Sharp Award.

The results of the prestigious civilian and military member of the year awards are as follows:

Airman of the Year – Senior Airman Holly Duke, 911th Maintenance Squadron

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Tech. Sgt. Richard Callis, 911th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Master Sgt. Michael Wenger, 911th Security Forces Squadron

Company Grade Officer of the Year – Capt. Joshua Christopher, 911th Maintenance Squadron

Field Grade Officer of the Year – Maj. Robert Lowe, 758th Airlift Squadron (911th AW/Program Integration Office)

Civilian of the Year (Category I) - Luca Farkas, 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron

Civilian of the Year (Category II) - Robert Ree, 911th Force Support Squadron

First Sergeant of the Year – Senior Master Sgt. Jessica Davis, 32nd Aerial Port Squadron

Base Honor Guardsman of the Year – Senior Airman Joseph Dukes III, 911th Communications Squadron

911th AW Command Chief Fahrny Diamond Sharp Award – Senior Airman Brianna Humbert, 911th Maintenance Squadron

In addition to the efforts of the individual award winners, Chief Master Sgt. Christopher D. Neitzel, command chief of the 911th Airlift Wing, also recognized the importance of wingmen and family in the success of the nominees and award winners.

“One of the most important parts of this award ceremony is the families,” said the command chief during the formal event. “We could not do this without the family support. I thank you to the families that come and are representing your loved ones here. They are very well deserving of this award and they could not have done it without any of you. So, thank you.”