Maryland Air National Guard Holds Airman Recognition Ceremony

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Danielle Lofton
  • 175th Wing

The Maryland Air National Guard held its annual Airman Recognition ceremony at Warfield Air National Guard Base, December 5, 2021. The ceremony recognized the 
Outstanding Airmen of the Year, Community College of the Air Force graduates, and highlighted missions the wing has successfully completed throughout the year.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul D. Johnson, commander of the 175th Wing, reflected on the accomplishments of the wing during the year despite the obstacles faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been two years since we last met and we’re here to recognize some outstanding performers,” said Johnson. “As I look across the room I think about the Airmen we have at McGuire helping out our Afghan guests, our cyber teams that are mobilized, and Airmen from this wing that are [activated] across the world. I think this is about us and everything that we’ve accomplished over the past two years and I could not be more proud.”

There were 24 Airmen nominated for Outstanding Airman of the Year within their respective categories including Airman, NCO, senior NCO, first sergeant, and company grade officer of the year.

“It feels great to win Airman of the Year; I was not expecting it,” said Senior Airman Luke Eskaros. “After finding out that I won, my mom reached out to me and told me that she was proud, so it feels good.”

Amidst the recognition another huge announcement was made by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Edward Jones, assistant adjutant general - Air, announcing that U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jori A Robinson, chief of staff for the MDANG Joint Forces Headquarters, will be named the next wing commander of the 175th Wing.

“It feels overwhelming, exciting, and I’m just honored and humbled to be the new wing commander,” said Robinson. “This is always such a great day to honor the most important people, which is our Airmen. I’m so happy for all of the nominees, the winners, and the Community College of the Air Force graduates.”

There were 31 Airmen recognized for receiving their Community College of the Air Force diplomas.

The five winners will now have the privilege to wear the Maryland National Guard Soldier/Airman of the Year ribbon and their award packages will be forwarded for the national Airman of the Year contest.

The following are the winners in their respective categories:

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Senior Airman Luke Eskaros

175th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Harbin

135th Intelligence Squadron

Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year

Master Sgt. Brandon Helt

275th Cyber Operations Squadron

Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year

Master Sgt. Stephen Libertini

175th Cyber Operations Group


Outstanding Company Grade Officer

1st Lt. Kerry Guy

175th Mission Support Group