175th Wing celebrates top airmen from previous year

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Laura Virtue
  • 175th Wing

The 175th Wing held its annual Airman Recognition Ceremony at Martin State Air National Guard Base, January 7, 2024. This ceremony was an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of airmen from the Maryland Air National Guard – presenting awards to the Outstanding Airmen of the Year, celebrating the Community College of the Air Force graduates, and spotlighting the successes of the wing's missions throughout the past year.

Speaking on the accomplishments of the 175th Wing throughout 2023, Maryland Air National Guard Col. Richard Hunt, the commander of the 175th Wing, reflected on the wing’s critical support for operations, such as Air Defender 2023, Operation Frosty Strike, ongoing cyber operations, and multiple federal deployments.

“Your accomplishments, contributions, and support to the 175th Wing over the past year are so appreciated,” said Hunt. “The tactical achievements of our individuals, our teams, and our units result in the successes of tomorrow. Thank you to our outstanding airmen for setting the example for all of us to follow.”

More than 20 airmen were nominated for the Outstanding Airman of the Year award within the categories of Airman, non-commissioned officer, senior non-commissioned officer, first sergeant, and company grade officer.

Airman 1st Class Zachary Thomas, 175th Civil Engineering Squadron HVAC apprentice, credited his faith and his squadron for helping him get to where he is today.

“I couldn’t be here without the support of my fellow airmen – they lift me up every day,” said Thomas. “I’m so grateful to everyone for the support and the recognition of the hard work my squadron and I have put in this year. It feels amazing to be given this opportunity.”

The Outstanding Airman of the Year for the SNCO category, Master Sgt. Samillia Glover, currently serving as the 275th Cyberspace Operations Squadron first sergeant, expressed gratitude for being selected, emphasizing the pivotal role played by her cyber operators.

“Winning this award is a great honor for not just myself, but my awesome 275th Cyberspace Operations Group team,” said Glover. “Without their dedication and the opportunities they have afforded me to grow as an SNCO, I would not have crossed that stage today.”

The ceremony also highlighted seven additional airmen who earned their Community College of the Air Force diplomas during the past year. This federal program, offered through the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, awards a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree to airmen and Guardians who complete curriculum requirements in partnership with Air University.

All of the Outstanding Airman of the Year nominees earned the right to wear the Maryland National Guard Soldier/Airman of the Year ribbon. The winners’ award packages will advance to the Air National Guard’s Airman of the Year contest. The following are the winners in their respective categories:

Outstanding Airman of the Year
Airman 1st Class Zachary Thomas
175th Civil Engineering Squadron

Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
Master Sgt. Robert Hedderick
275th Cyberspace Operations Squadron

Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
Master Sgt. Samillia Glover
275th Cyberspace Operations Squadron

Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year
Master Sgt. Abigail Comerford
175th Medical Group

Outstanding Company Grade Officer
Captain Allison Fleming
175th Security Forces Squadron

Traditionally, the 175th Wing’s Airman Recognition Ceremony is held in December, but due to a wing readiness exercise, the ceremony was postponed to this month.