Maryland Air National Guard Recognizes Top Airmen

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chris Schepers
  • 175th Wing

The Maryland Air National Guard held its annual Airman Recognition ceremony at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, December 4, 2022. The ceremony recognized the Outstanding Airmen of the Year, Community College of the Air Force graduates, and highlighted the successfully completed missions of the wing from the past year.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jori Robinson, commander of the 175th Wing, reflected on the accomplishments of the wing during a year, including supporting Operation Allies Welcome, Swift Response and Defender Europe 22, cyber operations with the 24th National Mission Team, COVID-19 testing missions, and deploying Airmen during RCP-08. 

“Our Airmen are the epitome of what excellence looks like here at the 175th Wing,” said Robinson. “You all have demonstrated excellence no matter the task and have represented this wing and the United States Air Force with the utmost professionalism.”

There were 22 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.

“I am extremely honored and grateful for the opportunity to represent the 175th Wing as the outstanding Airman of the year,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Bellmyer, a munitions inspector for the 175th Maintenance Group. “There is no way that I would be where I am today without my team and all of the individuals in the maintenance group that have supported me.”

During the ceremony, 28 Airmen were recognized for receiving their Community College of the Air Force diplomas. The CCAF is a federal program offered by the United States Air Force and United States Space Force which grants two-year Associate of Applied Science degrees in association with Air University.

The five winners are authorized to wear the Maryland National Guard Soldier/Airman of the Year ribbon and their award packages will be forwarded for the Air National Guard’s Airman of the Year contest.

The following are the winners in their respective categories:

Outstanding Airman of the Year
Senior Airman Joshua D. Phillips
175th Maintenance Group

Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
Tech. Sgt. Matthew R. Bellmyer
175th Maintenance Group

Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
Senior Master Sgt. Tony F. Thalachira
175th Maintenance Group

Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year
Master Sgt. Natalie Bakhsh
175th Cyber Operations Group 

Outstanding Company Grade Officer
Capt. Jared C. Houten
175th Operations Group