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    Awards ceremony recognizes excellence

    Awards ceremony recognizes excellence

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hull | Col. Sean Pierce, commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, speaks during the Rainier Wing...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hull 

    446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs (AFRC)

    Every year the Rainier Wing celebrates its top performers with an annual awards presentation. This year, Col. Sean Pierce, commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, and Chief Master Sgt. Kenellias Smith, 446th AW command chief, presented awards for outstanding achievement at the McChord club May 3.

    “Having an annual awards ceremony is a way to recognize the tremendous accomplishments and hard work our Reserve Citizen Airmen do here every day,” said Pierce. “It’s a tradition throughout all the military branches to recognize service members for above and beyond actions for their country.”

    The 2018 award winners were recognized by the Rainier Wing for their standout excellence with quarterly, annual, and higher headquarters level honors.

    Airman of the Year
    Staff Sgt. Crystal Lothrop, 446th Force Support Squadron

    Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
    Tech. Sgt. Michael Katzer, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

    Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
    Master Sgt. Michael Mellein, 86th Aerial Port Squadron

    First Sergeant of the Year
    Master Sgt. Janelle Marshall, 313th Airlift Squadron

    Company Grade Officer of the Year
    Capt. April Telan, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron

    Field Grade Officer of the Year
    Lt. Col. Michael Hughes, 97th Airlift Squadron

    Civilian of the Year, Category I
    Mr. Robert Kagarise, 446th Airlift Wing,
    Ms. Kathryn Hulsmann, 446th Operations Group

    Civilian of the Year, Category II
    Mr. Patrick Whitney, 446th Logistics Readiness Flight

    Civilian of the Year, Category III
    Ms. Emily Yturralde, 446th Airlift Wing.

    Air Force Reserve Command Awards

    AFRC Squadron of the Year
    446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron

    Outstanding AFRC Aeromedical Aircrew Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
    Senior Master Sgt. Kristy Wellman, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron

    Outstanding AFRC Aeromedical Aircrew Officer of the Year
    Major Benjamin Schultze, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron

    AFRC Inspector General, Lt. Gen. Howard W. Leaf award
    Senior Master Sgt. Nicole Carman, 446th Airlift Wing

    AFRC Outstanding Weapons Safety Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
    Tech. Sgt. Terrance Kung, 446th Airlift Wing

    Department of Defense Awards

    Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award
    446th Airlift Wing Airmen and Family Readiness Center

    “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of recognition,” said Pierce. “Through fiscal shortfalls and manning shortages, our members work in dynamic environments to overcome challenges and achieve excellence. Recognizing superior performers for their dedication and tenacity demonstrates our commitment to taking care of our Airmen.”

    For Lothrop, who was recognized as the Rainier Wing Airman of the Year, it was an unexpected surprise.

    “I almost didn’t even go because of the work I was doing for an upcoming unit inspection,” said Lothrop. “I knew I had won for Airmen of the Quarter for the wing, but I didn’t even think about winning for Airmen of the Year. My supervision was literally kicking me out the door [to get to the ceremony]. I absolutely despise public recognition, so I was very embarrassed and thankful at the same time.”

    Pierce said that a robust recognition program is a sign of a healthy organization and trusts that leaders around the wing will nominate their people for awards not just at the wing, but Air Force Reserve Command-level awards and beyond.

    “You get so focused on serving the members and getting the mission done you somewhat forget about yourself,” Lothrop continued. “I am just thankful for my mentors and all the members in my unit that helped support me in getting this award. In the end, I felt extremely blessed.”



    Date Taken: 05.10.2019
    Date Posted: 05.14.2019 12:00
    Story ID: 322043

    Web Views: 14
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    Awards ceremony recognizes excellence