166th Communications Airman is ‘Diamond Sharp’ in Germany

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NEW CASTLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Del. - An Airman’s first temporary duty assignment is often an exciting and anticipated career milestone. 

They have new mission objectives and goals, and learning experiences abound. They create friendships and connections that can last an entire career. And sometimes, Airmen far exceed the standard set out for them – Senior Airman Matthew Hartge is one of those Airmen.

Hartge, a client systems technician with the 166th Communications Flight, Delaware Air National Guard, received a First Sergeant Diamond Sharp Award for stellar performance while on temporary duty assignment in Ramstein, Germany—his first TDY and first assignment overseas. 

The first sergeants at the 521st Air Mobility Wing nominated him because he “epitomizes the Air Force Core Value of Excellence,” said the 521st AMW Command Chief, Chief MSgt. David E. Satchell, on his Facebook page. 

Hartge reported to the 313th Expeditionary Ops Support Squadron in July 2017 and provided communications support to that unit, as well as the 721st Aerial Port Squadron and 721st Air Mobility Operations Wing, and the 521st Air Mobility Wing. 

“Airman Hartge is a humble “GO- Getter” [sic] and his expertise, leadership and dedication contributed to his selection as the Diamond Sharp Award recipient,” as expressed on the 521st Command Chief Facebook Page.

Hartge said the recognition was unexpected.

“The First Shirts presented me with the ‘Diamond Sharp Award’ as a surprise- an experience that I will always remember,” said Hartge.

It wasn’t Hartge’s only accolade while in Germany. Additionally, he was recognized as his squadron’s ‘Airman of the Quarter,’ and he was specifically selected to provide support to permanent party as a single support entity. 

During the five month deployment, Hartge provided vital computer service technician support, information technology, and cyber support for multiple organizations. He solved IT and communications problems across the wing, including reprogramming 30 mission-critical personal computers, addressing over 200 issues and outages, and also earned his Ethical Hacker Certification, all while completing 15 credit hours toward his bachelor’s degree.

Leadership from 521st AMOW and Harge’s home unit, the 166th Airlift Wing, DANG, are very proud of Hartge’s professionalism, hard work and stellar performance.

“We knew we were sending a top-notch Airman, but it was reassuring to hear that he quickly engaged in this unfamiliar arena and that his hard work was being recognized by his TDY peers and leadership,” said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Spruill, superintendent of the 166th Communications Flight. “He has put the Air National Guard, Delaware specifically, in a fantastic light with our active duty brethren.” 

After this successful tour, Hartge looks forward to his next TDY assignment.

“This has been my favorite experience in the military so far. I enjoyed the opportunity to coordinate with other units. It was great learning how to build relationships with the host base.””