Five Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2012 selected for the Delaware Air National Guard

Release Number: 030313


Five people have been named by the Delaware Air National Guard as their Outstanding Airmen of the Year for FY 2012.

Residences of the five Airmen of the Year: Newark, Del.; Egg Harbor City, N.J.; Gambrills, Md.; East Fallowfield, Pa.; New Castle, Del.

The five Airmen of the Year are chosen after a selection board interviews all 12 Airmen of the Quarter, who are nominated from the force of nearly 800 enlisted members; the selections are made based on leadership and performance, community involvement and significant self-improvement. The award recipients in the two categories of First Sergeant of the Year and Honor Guard Member of the Year were selected from direct nominations submitted to the selection committee.

The Outstanding Airman of the Year is Airman 1st Class Joseph L. Gilford, a resident of Newark, Del., and a knowledge operations officer in the 166th Civil Engineer Squadron, part of the 166th Airlift Wing. Airman Gilford is an honor graduate of Air Force Basic Military Training, and was awarded the only Engineering Assistant coin of excellence for his work at Air Force Civil Engineer Silver Flag training. He volunteered over 24 hours at the Ft. Leonard Wood Fitness Center, and has completed 24 credits at Wright State University in marketing.

The Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year is Tech. Sgt. David S. Gazzara, a resident of Egg Harbor City, N.J., and an explosive ordnance disposal team leader in the 166th Civil Engineer Squadron, part of the 166th Airlift Wing. Sgt. Gazzara was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for exceptional meritorious service as an EOD team leader while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He represented the wing for the Loncki Memorial five-mile run, finishing top in his age category for the last three years. He enrolled in the Air Force Senior NCO Academy, and completed his Community College of the Air Force Associates in Applied Science EOD degree.

The Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year is Master Sgt. Jamie D. Kohr, a resident of Gambrills, Md., and a flight engineer instructor in the 142nd Airlift Squadron, part of the 166th Airlift Wing. Sgt. Kohr was hand-picked and certified by squadron leadership to become one of seven such instructors. He is enrolled in his final two classes to obtain his CCAF associates degree, and is a volunteer for D.C. Cares, USO Delaware, Special Olympics Delaware and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.

The Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year is Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen Walsh-Shell, a resident of East Fallowfield, Pa., and a former public health craftsman and now first sergeant in the 166th Medical Group, part of the 166th Airlift Wing. She is an honor graduate of Air Force BMT and a distinguished graduate from the Environmental Health Specialist program, Brooks AFB. She has a B.S. in Health and Physical Education and is a certified athletic trainer at a public middle school.

The Outstanding Honor Guard Member of the Year is Tech. Sgt. Bonifacio M. Tee, III, a resident of New Castle, Del., and a security forces craftsman in the 166th Security Forces Squadron, part of the 166th Airlift Wing. Sgt. Tee was activated for Operation Noble Eagle, and deployed twice for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.


Tonight, Saturday March 2, these five Outstanding Airmen of the Year for FY2012, plus 12 Airmen of the Quarter for the previous four quarters, and other special award winners from 2012 will be honored at the Delaware Air National Guard's Enlisted Recognition Banquet to be held at The Deerfield Golf and Tennis Club in Newark, Del. A number of Airmen will be recognized for earning a Community College of the Air Force associate degree, and one will be recognized for being selected for the S.B.I. Duncan Leadership Award.

News media are welcome to attend; program begins at 6:00 p.m., and media may arrive as early as 5:00 p.m. Please call ahead to Public Affairs at (302) 593-2126 if attending. Requests for photography and interviews can be arranged if news media cannot attend the banquet.

All five award winners will next represent Delaware in the national level Air National Guard competitive selection process to be held later this year to include all 54 ANG units, representing all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. One award winner in each category will then represent the ANG at the Air Force-wide competition where 12 award winners will be named from all Air Force commands, separate operating agencies, direct reporting units, the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

Individual high-resolution photos of the five top award recipients are available for download now on www.166aw.ang.af.mil. Next week photos of all Airmen of the Quarter will be online and available for download.


AIRMEN OF THE QUARTER FOR FY 2012:


First quarter FY2012 (Oct.-Dec. 2011) Airmen of the Quarter selections:

Airman: Senior Airman Katelyn E. Williams, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron

NCO: Staff Sgt. Eugene A. Jackson, 166th Maintenance Squadron.

Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Steven D. Turi, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron/Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight.


Second quarter FY2012 (Jan.-March 2012) Airmen of the Quarter selections:

Airman: Airman 1st Class Gregory A. Bullock, 166th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

NCO: Staff Sgt. Jacob A. Ferger, 166th Force Support Squadron/Sustainment Services Flight.

Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Shannon Daniels, 166th Logistics Readiness Squadron.


Third quarter FY2012 (April-June 2012) Airmen of the Quarter selections:

Airman: Senior Airman Joseph L. Gilford, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron.

NCO: Tech. Sgt. Aaron W. Sweeney, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron/Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight.

Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Daniel W. Lord, 166th Communications Flight.


Fourth quarter FY2012 (July-Sept. 2012) Airmen of the Quarter selections:

Airman: Staff Sgt. Meagan L. Igartua, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron.

NCO: Tech. Sgt. David S. Gazzara, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron/Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight.

Senior NCO: Senior Master Sgt. Jamie D. Kohr, 142nd Airlift Squadron.


The Delaware ANG has 1,100 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe. This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

Delaware Air National Guard: Celebrating 67 years of Citizen-Airman service to our state and nation, 1946-2013

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