Arizona National Guard recognizes outstanding Soldiers and Airmen
By Tech. Sgt. Michael Matkin, 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 22, 2015
PHOENIX -- The Arizona National Guard recognized its top service members at the state's annual Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year Banquet here March 21.
More than 700 Guard members from the Arizona Army and Air National Guard attended. The award ceremony allowed leadership to recognize outstanding service members for their exceptional performance throughout the previous 12 months.
The Arizona Army National Guard award recipients were as follows:
The Army instructor of the year was awarded to Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Langseth representing Western Army Aviation Training Site, Marana.
The General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award was awarded to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Samuel Bowman, in the Junior Warrant Officer category and Capt. Caleb Grandy, in the Junior Officer category; both from the 98th Aviation Troop Command, Marana.
The award for the Outstanding Solider, Non-Commissioned Officer and Junior Officer of the Year were based on performance during the Best Warrior Competition held in March. The competition tests Soldiers on their knowledge of warrior tasks, endurance, physical fitness and their military bearing during a review board.
The Outstanding Soldier of the Year was awarded a trophy as a tribute to Maj. Frederick Ferguson, Arizona Army National Guard and recipient of the Medal of Honor during service as an aviator in the Vietnam War.
This year's winner was Spc. Aaron Hoyt, 198th, Regional Support Group, Phoenix.
The Non-commissioned Officer of the Year was awarded a trophy named after Medal of Honor recipient Silvestre Herrera for his service in World War II.
This year's winner was Staff Sgt. Robert Zapata, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Phoenix.
The First Sergeant of the Year was awarded a trophy named after Medal of Honor recipient Nicky Bacon for his service in the Vietnam War.
This year's winner was 1st Sgt. Edward Jimenez, 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Phoenix.
The Carl G. Hoyer Outstanding Warrant Officer of the Year award was awarded as a tribute to Chief Warrant Officer Carl G. Hoyer, who was recognized for his exceptional military and community service.
This year's winner was Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jeffrey Joiner, 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Phoenix.
The Junior Officer of the Year was awarded a trophy named after Oscar Temple, former Arizona Adjutant General.
This year's winner was Capt. Brian Gaume, 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Phoenix.
This year the Arizona National Guard recognized the top team for the Adjutant General's all weapons shooting match. The winners were: Army Lt. Col. William Waddington, Command Sgt. Major John Salazar, Master Sgt. Travis Buchmann and Staff Sgt. Jared McBain.
The winner of the overall shooting competition was Air Force Master Sgt. Scott Erickson from the 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix.
The Arizona Air National Guard award recipients were as follows:
The awards for the Outstanding Airman of the Year, Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year were based on duty performance, self-improvement related to their primary duty, the impact of their positive leadership and their involvement militarily and within their community.
This year's winner for Airman of the Year was Senior Airman Justin Klosterman, 161st ARW, Phoenix.
This year's winner for Noncommissioned Officer of the Year was Tech. Sgt. Donald Byrd, 162nd Wing, Tucson.
This year's winner for Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year was Master Sgt. James Swanson, 161st ARW, Phoenix.
The First Sergeant of the Year award was presented to the first sergeant who made the greatest impact on his or her organization through leadership development and dedication to the men and women that they are entrusted with.
This year's winner was Master Sgt. Gregg Bacome, 161st ARW, Phoenix.
The State Command Chief Master Sergeant Award was presented to an enlisted member in the grades of airman to technical sergeant, who best exemplifies the talent, positive leadership and dedication toward mission accomplishment within the state of Arizona. This person's performance enhanced the Arizona Air National Guard's ability to assume its functional role and the Air National Guard's peacetime and wartime mission requirements.
This year's winner was Tech. Sgt. Eugene Sanders, 162nd Wing, Tucson.
The Maj. Gen. Donald L. Owens Award was given to a junior officer in the grade of second lieutenant to captain who best exemplifies the talent, positive leadership and dedication that has enabled the Arizona Air National Guard to assume a large portion of the Air Force's peacetime and wartime mission requirements.
This year's winner was Capt. Amy O'Neill, 162nd Wing, Tucson.
Speaking to the winners and to all of the Arizona National Guard, Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General - Arizona National Guard said, "Trust is a word that is the cornerstone of what we do. Tonight we're going to recognize some winners that are truly the best of the best. Every one of you who showed up to support your fellow Soldiers and Airmen - remember these winners couldn't have won without their team."
Capt. Rebecca Cruz, 161 ARW Public Affairs, contributed to this story