Wing Recognizes Outstanding Airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. David Speicher
  • 175th Wing Public Affairs
The Maryland Air National Guard recognized its outstanding Airmen for their accomplishments in the past year at a ceremony held Dec. 6 at Warfield Air National Guard Base.

The event, known as the "Airman Recognition Ceremony," honored the most outstanding enlisted members of the 175th Wing in three categories: Airman, Noncommissioned Officer, and Senior Noncommissioned Officer. In addition, the wing's top honor guard member and first sergeant were also recognized, as were major accomplishments by other Airmen throughout the wing.

In the Outstanding Airmen of the Year competition, the following members won in their respective categories:

Airman of the Year
Senior Airman Edward J. Vazquez, 175th Security Forces Squadron. Airman Vazquez said, "I believe I was selected Airman of the Year because of the high standards that my flight members and squadron leadership hold me to. Working down here this past year they are always striving for me to give 110 percent."

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
Tech. Sgt. Jamel L. Forte, 175th Logistic Readiness Squadron. He is currently deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
Master Sgt. James E. Pritchard, 175th Civil Engineer Squadron. Sergeant Pritchard said, "The reason I believe I was selected for the senior NCO of the year is my being able to share my vision for the future of fire protection for the 175th Wing and being allowed to share that with the younger troops. I show my positive attitude in the vision I have with this fire department, which allows me to share threw out the wing and be recognized for this award."

First Sergeant of the Year
Master Sgt. Laurie J. Cherry, 175th Civil Engineer Squadron. She said, "I have tried to be the best first sergeant I could be, not only for my squadron, but also for the entire base. I have volunteered for family day, the new student flight program and the revamping of the first sergeant photo wall."

Honor Guard Member of the Year
Tech. Sgt. Robert Walters, 175th Security Forces Squadron. He is currently away at school.

In addition to the Airmen of the year, 38 individuals and nine teams were recognized for outstanding achievement during the Unit Compliance Inspection last winter, 14 members were acknowledged for outstanding achievements or as honor graduates in their professional military schooling, and 34 Maryland Air National Guardsmen received their Community College of the Air Force degrees during the ceremony.

Brig. Gen. Allyson R. Solomon, assistant adjutant general-air, said, "It is a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and also look toward the future."

With upcoming deployments looming large on the horizon, General Solomon reminded the crowd to "take care of you fellow Airmen."

Col. Scott L. Kelly, commander of the 175th Wing, closed the event by telling the gathered family, friends and military members, "You are the backbone of who we are. We would not be able to deliver bombs and bullets without you. We would not be able to do with out you, the enlisted force, our American patriots."