HomeNewsArticle Display

Maintenance first sergeant brings home state honors

(From the left) Scott Essex, Arizona chairman of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, Army Maj. Gen. Hugo E. Salazar, commanding general and Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard, Senior Master Sgt. Armando Gonzalez, Arizona’s Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year, Brig. Gen Michael Colangelo, Arizona Air National Guard commander, and the Arizona Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Irving stand for a photo at the state’s Outstanding Airman of the Year Banquet, April 9. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kelly Deitloff)

(From the left) Scott Essex, Arizona chairman of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, Army Maj. Gen. Hugo E. Salazar, commanding general and Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard, Senior Master Sgt. Armando Gonzalez, Arizona’s Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year, Brig. Gen Michael Colangelo, Arizona Air National Guard commander, and the Arizona Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Irving stand for a photo at the state’s Outstanding Airman of the Year Banquet, April 9. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kelly Deitloff)

PHOENIX -- A member of the 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport earned top honors at the Arizona Air National Guard's Outstanding Airman of the Year Banquet held here April 9, at the Embassy Suites Phoenix.

Senior Master Sgt. Armando Gonzalez was presented the Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year award for the state.

First sergeants are responsible for the morale, welfare, and conduct of all the enlisted members in a particular unit and are the chief advisers to commanders concerning the enlisted force.

The OAY banquet is an annual celebration honoring the best of the best in the Arizona Air National Guard. Supervisors nominate Airmen based on criteria focusing on the Airman's exceptional service in the military and community.

During the award period, Sergeant Gonzalez served as first sergeant for 330 members of the wing's Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. He was the president of the unit's First Sergeant's council, a member of the base honor guard, and is a recent bone marrow donor.

Only five other Airmen took home the honors in their respective categories for 2010.

The other 2010 Arizona Airmen of the Year are:

Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Terese Chadwick, assigned to the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. James Rollins assigned to the 214th Reconnaissance Group.

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Master Sgt. Jesse Bautista, assigned to the 107th Air Control Squadron.

Command Chief Master Sergeant Award: Senior Airman Courtney Enos assigned to the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

Major General Donald L. Owens Junior Officer of the Year Award: Capt. Kevin Clegg, assigned to the 214th Reconnaissance Group.

Gonzalez and the other winners will now compete against other states' outstanding personnel for the honor of being named one of the Air National Guard's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

The Air Force's Airman of the Year program was initiated at the Air Force Association's conference of 1956. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, a general officer and selected major command command chiefs form the selection board.