MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS
(24 February, 2009)
Vineland Resident Chosen Top Air Guard
Joint Force Headquarters-New Jersey (Air), New Jersey Air National Guard, announced the results of the judging for the New Jersey state nominations for the national Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year Awards program and the Major General Richard "Craig" Cosgrave Chiefs Award.
Vineland resident Tech. Sgt. Jamie L. DeCosta, an Intelligence Evaluator with the 177th Fighter Wing Operations Support Flight, was chosen as the New Jersey state nomination for the 2009 Non-Commissioned Officer of Year.
This was in addition to receiving the Outstanding Air Reserve Component Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance NCO of the Year Award – one of six awards presented annually as part of the Air Force Command Annual Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Awards Program – from First Air Force.
The 177th Fighter Wing led the way taking three of the five New Jersey state nominations for the Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year Awards as well as garnering the prestigious Chiefs Award.
The other New Jersey state nominations winners are…
Senior Airman Bradley S. Ferguson, 177th Fighter Wing Maintenance Squadron, was nominated as the 2009 Airman of Year.
Chief Master Sgt. Lance C. Endee, 108th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron, was picked as the 2009 Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of Year award.
Senior Master Sgt. Marie M. Reavis, 108th Air Refueling Wing Civil Engineering Squadron, was chosen as the 2009 First Sergeant of Year.
Staff Sgt. Jamie A. Tonkinson, 177th Fighter Wing Maintenance Squadron, was nominated as the 2009 Honor Guard Member of Year.
Chief Master Sgt. Donald E. Harris, 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineering Squadron, received the prestigious 2008 Major General Richard "Craig" Cosgrave Chief's Award.
The Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year Awards, which are selected by the Air Force Chief of Staff at the national level, recognizes 12 enlisted members in a range of grades representing a cross section of the Air Force's career fields. The Airmen are honored at the Air Force Association's annual convention in Washington, D.C. The program was initiated at the Air Force Association's 10th annual national Conference, held in New Orleans in 1956.
Applicants are judged in the three areas. The first, superior leadership and job performance covers how well the Airman performed assigned primary and additional duties and includes any new initiatives or techniques developed by the member that positively impacted the unit and/or the mission. Second is significant self-improvement. Here the judges look at how the applicant has developed or improved skills related to their primary duties. This also includes any off-duty education not directly related to primary duties. In addition, they look at any other training or activity that significantly enhanced the member's value as a military citizen. The last area of judging is community involvement, and personal achievements. This covers the scope and impact of the Airman's positive leadership and involvement in both the military and civilian community.
DeCosta, Ferguson, Endee, Reavis and Tonkinson will now go on to compete at the National Guard Bureau against all the other states. Should they win, they will compete against their active-duty counterparts.