The District of Columbia National Guard hosted its annual awards and decorations ceremony today at the D.C. National Guard Armory here.
The ceremony, themed “Capital Guardian for Life,” was held to recognize unit-level and individual award winners from both the D.C. Army and Air National Guard and to remind members of their exclusive and life-long membership to the organization, as well as the time-honored responsibility to the District of Columbia and the communities they serve.
“Your service in the D.C. National Guard is part of a long tradition of dedication, bravery and valor,” said Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard. “Each of you are forever connected to our capital guardians of the past, not just through the flag you carry or the patches you wear, but through your commitment to serve and your dedication to the community.”
Tech. Sgt. Kelly Downes, a 113th Air Maintenance Squadron Phase Inspector with the 113th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md. was presented with the District of Columbia Hero Recognition Award for her courage in saving the life of 91 year-old Dot Jackson from a house fire in Essex, Md., on Oct. 16, 2018.
“Tech. Sgt. Downes represents the best of the Air National Guard and the 113th Wing,” said Col. Keith G. MacDonald, 113th Wing Commander. “Without regard to her personal safety, Downes heroic actions saved the life of one of our community members. I am proud of the selflessness, courage and honor that she displayed and am humbled to serve alongside her in the 113th Wing.”
Additional information about awards and recipients follows:
HERO RECOGNIZATION AWARD – U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kelly Downes
The District of Columbia Hero Recognition Award recognizes the most outstanding military member who has exemplified outstanding courage through a heroic event while making a significant impact within the District of Columbia.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kelly Downes was presented this award for saving her 91 year-old neighbor from a house fire in Essex, Md., on Oct. 16. She displayed courage and selflessness through her actions to enter a home that was producing fire and smoke to walk her neighbor to safety.
COMMANDING GENERAL’S OUTSTANDING UNIT AWARD - 715th Public Affairs Detachment
The Commanding General’s Outstanding Unit award is presented to all members of the unit who participated in federal or local missions that support good civic or community relations.
The 715th Public Affairs Detachment, D.C. Army National Guard was presented this award as the unit that consistently supported the highest number of federal and state missions to engage the local community and support exercises and partners overseas.
PARTNERSHIP AWARD - Mr. Andrew W. Perez, MillerCoors
The District of Columbia National Guard Partnership Award is presented to an individual in the community who has presented outstanding support to strengthening the D.C. National Guard military community.
Mr. Andrew W. Perez, Senior Chain Sales Executive of MillerCoors, was presented this award for his enduring commitment over the last decade to community partnership, outstanding service and leadership to support military families of the D.C. National Guard.
RECRUITER OF THE YEAR - Sgt. Arielle T. Acosta (Army) and Sgt. Marissa Graham (Air)
The D.C. National Guard Recruiter of the Year award is presented to the Army and Air recruiter who had the highest performance and the most impact on recruitment and retention.
YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY CADET OF THE CYCLE – Cadet Hunter Martin and Cadet Winston Hall
The Cadet of the Cycle award is presented to the top two Youth Challenge program members who demonstrated excellence within the program.
Cadet Hunter Martin of Class 49 and Cadet Winston Hall of Class 50 were awarded the Cadet of the Cycle award for demonstrating overall top performance amongst their peers.
CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - Ms. Cynthia Cabell
The Civilian Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Ms. Cynthia Cabell for her exceptional meritorious volunteer service in the District of Columbia metropolitan area in support of the District of Columbia National Guard.
COLONEL ROBERT I. FLEMMING AWARD – 257th Army Band, Band of the Nation’s Capital
The Colonel Robert I. Fleming Award was presented to the 257th Army Band for being the District of Columbia Army National Guard unit who attained the highest percentage of enlisted participation during the fiscal year.
MILITARY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD - Staff Sgt. Michaeal D. Eugenio (Army) and Master Sgt. Crystal Smith (Air)
The Military Volunteer of the Year award is presented to the soldier and airman who demonstrate exceptional meritorious volunteer service in their unit and surrounding community.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michaeal D. Eugenio was recognized for active community service participation.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Crystal Smith was recognized for creating a community titled “Small Deeds / Great Love” for over 30 Annapolis regional members and performing weekly acts of servitude in addition to numerous volunteer hours in service of the community.
MAJOR GENERAL DAVID F. WHERLEY JR. AND MRS. ANNE S. WHERLEY YOUTH LEADERSHIP AWARD - Miss Taylor Edouard
DOMESTIC OPERATIONS AWARD - Maj. Justin Cremisio (Army) and Master Sgt. Samuel Hoover (Air)
The Domestic Operations Award recognizes the exceptional contributions and leadership qualities exhibited by a D.C. National Guard soldier and airman whose performance contributed significantly to increase the mission.
U.S. Army Maj. Justin Cremisio received this award for his outstanding support to the White House Military Office as a member of the Mobilization Augmentation Command, strengthening the partnership between the White House and D.C. National Guard that resulted in streamlined support during National Special Security Events.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Samuel Hoover was recognized for revamping domestic operations and defense support to civil authorities, overhauling critical quality assurance programs and instructing technicians from over 20 wings on land mobile radio test set training.
HONOR GUARD MEMBER OF THE YEAR - Specialist Shehab A. Awad (Army) and Staff Sgt. Bryan A. Carroll (Air)
The Honor Guard Member of the Year award is presented to the Army and Air honor guard member who has performed his/her duties in an excellent manner in the District of Columbia National Guard.
MASTER SERGEANT ADOLPH R. SCAGLIARINI OUTSTANDING BAND MEMBER – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alisha Coleman
The Master Sergeant Adolph R. Scagliarini Outstanding Band Member award goes to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alisha Coleman for demonstrating the highest levels of professional competence by performing as the featured soloist at four concerts around the National Capital Region. This award is presented in honor of Army Master Sgt. Adolph R. Scagliarini, former First Sergeant of the 257th Army Band.
MAJOR GENERAL CALVIN G. FRANKLIN LEADERSHIP AWARD - Maj. Kelvin Hart (Army) and Maj. Brandon Roth (Air)
The Major General Calvin G. Franklin Leadership Award recognizes the accomplishments of officers that have demonstrated the highest qualities of leadership in the performance of their duties and conduct of their lives.
U.S. Army Maj. Kelvin Hart was recognized for re-positioning the Joint Force Headquarters Recruiting and Retention Battalion to become a high performing and model unit in the D.C. National Guard. He established critical partnerships with various local police departments and federal agencies to increase recruitment and reduce training pipeline losses.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Brandon Roth was recognized for his enterprise-wide impact to the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard in his position as 113th Aerospace Control Alert Detachment Director of Operations. His expertise as a visionary program manager resulted in a 50 percent increase in mission capable rates, while carefully managing a flying hour program for 35 squadron pilots.
MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES L. SOUTHWARD LEADERSHIP AWARD - U.S. Army 1st Lt. Andrew McLean
The Major General Charles L. Southward Leadership Award is presented to the junior officer who demonstrates exemplary leadership, professional competence and unswerving dedication to the D.C. National Guard.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Andrew McLean earned this award for assuming command of two separate aviation units that are part of a regional battalion. Under his leadership he planned and executed a first of its kind personnel recovery exercise that greatly increased the effectiveness of his assigned units.
COLONEL LOUISE R. WILLIAMS OUTSTANDING PERSONNEL AWARD - Staff Sgt. Jessica Pollard (Army) and Tech. Sgt. Holly F. Pratt (Air)
The Colonel Louis R. Williams Outstanding Personnel Award recognizes an enlisted member who has demonstrated an exceptionally outstanding performance in all areas of personnel readiness.
This year’s award goes to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Pollard who was responsible for the seamless transition of a new promotion system within the D.C. Army National Guard, spearheading the program and conducting analysis of personnel files to ensure that soldiers were being promoted on time.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Holly F. Pratt received the award for serving as the consummate professional, continually setting high standards and quality of work that was lauded by peers and superiors alike.
PHILLIP M. TALBOT TROPHY RECRUITING AND RETENTION AWARD - 715th Public Affairs Detachment
The Phillip M. Talbot Trophy Recruiting and Retention Award goes to the 715th Public Affairs Detachment, D.C. Army National Guard, for attaining the highest rate of reenlistment for the year as a result of leadership, professional development, and instilling “espirit de corps”.
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM H. ABENDROTH AWARD – 547th Transportation Company
The Major General William H. Abendroth Award was presented to the 547th Transportation Company, D.C. Army National Guard, for achieving the best overall rating at each training site during compliance inspection.
MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES L. SOUTHWARD LEADERSHIP AWARD – U.S. Air Force Capt. Elizabeth Frederick
The Major General Charles L. Southward Leadership Award was presented to U.S. Air Force Capt. Elizabeth Frederick in her capacity as the acting chief of intelligence operations for the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard. She expertly led her intelligence section, while supporting numerous VIP air missions, preparing hundreds of airmen for multiple deployments, and significantly improving the 113th Wing’s analytical capability.
D.C. AIR NATIONAL GUARD CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – Ms Emil Sepulveda
The D.C. Air National Guard Civilian Employee of the Year award was presented to Ms. Emil Sepulveda. Her technical acumen and careful attention to detail resulted in an increased filing system efficiency of over thirty-five percent. She developed strong credibility and trust with leadership and coworkers – a benchmark of Air Force civilian service.
D.C. AIR NATIONAL GUARD MISSION SUPPORT GROUP SUPERIOR SERVICE AWARD – U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Desiree Jones, Senior Airman Ryan Hotte and Senior Airman Brandon Burress
The D.C. Air National Guard Mission Support Group Superior Service Award acknowledges and commemorates outstanding achievements and meritorious service of members of the Mission Support Group. U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Desiree Jones, Senior Airman Ryan Hotte and Senior Airman Brandon Burress were awarded for their outstanding customer service, creativity and teamwork.
HOWARD W. KACY FLYING SAFETY AWARD – U.S. Air Force Capt. Austin Bangerter
The Howard W. Kacy Flying Safety Award was presented to U.S. Air Force Capt. Austin Bangerter, a tactical and flying pilot of the D.C. Air National Guard who, during the year, made the greatest contribution to the flying safety program, had an outstanding flying safety record, and successfully coped with in flight emergency situations.
D.C. AIR NATIONAL GUARD BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM R. McCALL FLYING SAFETY AWARD - The crew of ‘Boxer 41’, Air Mobility Command
The D.C. Air National Guard Brigadier General William R. McCall Flying Safety Award was presented to the crew of ‘Boxer 41’, Air Mobility Command, for making the greatest contributions to the flying safety program and maintaining an outstanding flying safety record.
BRIGADIER GENERAL PAUL L. POCHMARA AWARD – 113th Communications Flight
The Brigadier General Paul L. Pochmara Award was presented to the 113th Communications Flight, D.C. Air National Guard, for epitomizing unit excellence and setting clear benchmarks for others to use in leading their units to mission success.
JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN AERIAL GUNNERY AWARD – U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Trujillo
The Joseph Goldstein Aerial Gunnery Award was presented to U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Trujillo for maintaining the highest average scores in all phases of weapons delivery using the F-16 aircraft, including strafing, dive bombing and rocketry.
J. LEO LYNCH OUTSTANDING SOLDIER AWARD –1st Sgt. Porscha Scott (Army) and U.S. Master Sgt. Juan Rodriguez (Air)
The J. Leo Lynch Outstanding Soldier award was presented to U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Porscha Scott for the contributions and leadership qualities she exhibited while performing her duties as a First Sergeant. Her overall performance contributed significantly to increase organization effectiveness, and she continually serves the D.C. National Guard community.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Juan Rodriguez was recognized for his service as a leader, mentor and for constantly exemplifying what it means to care for Airmen. He guided 180 Airmen through high op-tempo missions, and directly contributed to hundreds of Aerospace Control Alert events during the year.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD OUTSTANDING SENIOR NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR –Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Abate (Army) and Master Sgt. Zachery Werneth (Air)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD OUTSTANDING NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR –Sgt. Destiny Evans and Staff Sgt. Phillip (Army) and Staff Sgt. Antonio Garza (Air)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD OUTSTANDING SOLDIER OF THE YEAR – U.S. Army Spc. Katia Bell and Spc. Alessandra Tompkins
The District of Columbia National Guard Soldier of the Year was presented to both Spc. Katia Bell and Spc. Alessandra Tompkins for taking extreme pride in every mission, working to achieve results when confronted with challenges and conflict. Their efforts to perform at a skill beyond their rank resulted in the successful processing of one-hundred percent of the Joint Force Headquarters officer promotion packets with zero losses.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD OUTSTANDING AIRMAN OF THE YEAR - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Diamond Beaner
The District of Columbia Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year is presented to Senior Airman Diamond Beaner for serving as a motivated Health Services Technician, approving over 100 Air National Guard applicants that resulted in increased wing manning by 12 percent. He exemplified servant leadership by devoting over 20 hours feeding and housing homeless at the Free Gospel Church.
CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT JAMES P. HARRIS AWARD – U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Amanda Creamer
The Chief Master Sgt. James P. Harris Award is presented annually to the member of the 113th Maintenance Support Group who performs hands-on maintenance or manages a maintenance function and distinguishes themselves by outstanding performance.
Master Sgt. Amanda Creamer was presented this award for her significant contributions towards the overarching accomplishments of the maintenance support group mission.
TUSKEGEE AIRMAN AWARD – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ismari Ramos-Medina
The Tuskegee Airman Award was presented to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ismari Ramos-Medina for her service as a first term enlisted member who achieved exceptional academic achievement and demonstrated application of technical excellence while attending formal military training.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD FAMILY OF THE YEAR –Maj. Michael Robinson and family (Army) Master Sgt. Brandon Smith (Air) and Mrs. Janette Smith
The District of Columbia National Guard Military Family of the Year was presented to the family of a soldier and airman who demonstrated exception meritorious volunteer service to their unit and surrounding community.
For more information contact Capt. Alan Ortiz, D.C. National Guard Public Affairs Officer at 202-685-9862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.