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Arizona National Guard recognizes outstanding Soldiers and Airmen

The 2013 Outstanding Airmen of the Year award recipients are, from left to right: Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General Arizona National Guard, Senior Airman Orlando Calzadillas, 161 ARW, Command Chief Master Sergeant Award recipient, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Gutierrez, Arizona State Command Chief Master Sergeant, Senior Master Sgt. Raul Ortega, 214th RG, First Sergeant of the Year, Mr. Glenn Klassen, Phoenix Air National Guard Patriots, Master Sgt. Kristeen Jones, 162nd  FW, Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Command Sergeant Major Pamela Higgins, Command Sergeant Major of the Arizona Army National Guard, Technical Sgt. Christopher Davis, 214th RG, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Airman 1st Class Laura Carroll, 161st ARW, Airman of the Year, Master Sgt. Ben Acosta, President of EANGA, and 1st Lt. Mark Gronau, 214th RG, Major General Donald L. Owens Junior Officer of the Year. (U. S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams/Released)

The 2013 Outstanding Airmen of the Year award recipients are, from left to right: Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General Arizona National Guard, Senior Airman Orlando Calzadillas, 161 ARW, Command Chief Master Sergeant Award recipient, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Gutierrez, Arizona State Command Chief Master Sergeant, Senior Master Sgt. Raul Ortega, 214th RG, First Sergeant of the Year, Mr. Glenn Klassen, Phoenix Air National Guard Patriots, Master Sgt. Kristeen Jones, 162nd FW, Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Command Sergeant Major Pamela Higgins, Command Sergeant Major of the Arizona Army National Guard, Technical Sgt. Christopher Davis, 214th RG, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Airman 1st Class Laura Carroll, 161st ARW, Airman of the Year, Master Sgt. Ben Acosta, President of EANGA, and 1st Lt. Mark Gronau, 214th RG, Major General Donald L. Owens Junior Officer of the Year. (U. S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams/Released)

The 2013 Outstanding Soldier of the Year award recipients are, from left to right: Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General Arizona National Guard,  Capt. Caleb Grandy, 98th ATC, Oscar F. Temple Officer of the Year, Command Sgt. Maj. Pamela Higgins, Command Sergeant Major of the Arizona Army National Guard, CW2 Samuel Bowman, 98th ATC, Carl G. Hoyer Warrant Officer of the Year, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Gutierrez, Arizona State Command Chief Master Sergeant, 1st Sgt. Justin Zulueta, 158 MEB, First Sergeant of the Year, Master Sgt. Ben Acosta, President of EANGA,  Staff Sgt. David Sanders, WAATS, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Spc. Gino Zappia, 158th MEB, Soldier of the Year.  (U. S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams/Released)

The 2013 Outstanding Soldier of the Year award recipients are, from left to right: Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General Arizona National Guard, Capt. Caleb Grandy, 98th ATC, Oscar F. Temple Officer of the Year, Command Sgt. Maj. Pamela Higgins, Command Sergeant Major of the Arizona Army National Guard, CW2 Samuel Bowman, 98th ATC, Carl G. Hoyer Warrant Officer of the Year, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Gutierrez, Arizona State Command Chief Master Sergeant, 1st Sgt. Justin Zulueta, 158 MEB, First Sergeant of the Year, Master Sgt. Ben Acosta, President of EANGA, Staff Sgt. David Sanders, WAATS, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Spc. Gino Zappia, 158th MEB, Soldier of the Year. (U. S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams/Released)

The 2013 Outstanding Soldier and Airmen of the Year award recipients are, from left to right: Capt. Caleb Grandy, 98th ATC, Oscar F. Temple Officer of the Year, CW2 Samuel Bowman, 98th ATC, Carl G. Hoyer Warrant Officer of the Year, 1st Sgt. Justin Zulueta, 158 MEB, First Sergeant of the Year, Staff Sgt. David Sanders, WAATS, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Spc. Gino Zappia, 158th MEB, Soldier of the Year, Senior Airman Orlando Calzadillas, 161 ARW, Command Chief Master Sergeant Award recipient, Senior Master Sgt. Raul Ortega, 214th RG, First Sergeant of the Year, Master Sgt. Kristeen Jones, 162nd  FW, Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Technical Sgt. Christopher Davis, 214th RG, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Airman 1st Class Laura Carroll, 161st ARW, Airman of the Year and 1st Lt. Mark Gronau, 214th RG, Major General Donald L. Owens Junior Officer of the Year. (U. S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams/Released)

The 2013 Outstanding Soldier and Airmen of the Year award recipients are, from left to right: Capt. Caleb Grandy, 98th ATC, Oscar F. Temple Officer of the Year, CW2 Samuel Bowman, 98th ATC, Carl G. Hoyer Warrant Officer of the Year, 1st Sgt. Justin Zulueta, 158 MEB, First Sergeant of the Year, Staff Sgt. David Sanders, WAATS, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Spc. Gino Zappia, 158th MEB, Soldier of the Year, Senior Airman Orlando Calzadillas, 161 ARW, Command Chief Master Sergeant Award recipient, Senior Master Sgt. Raul Ortega, 214th RG, First Sergeant of the Year, Master Sgt. Kristeen Jones, 162nd FW, Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Technical Sgt. Christopher Davis, 214th RG, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Airman 1st Class Laura Carroll, 161st ARW, Airman of the Year and 1st Lt. Mark Gronau, 214th RG, Major General Donald L. Owens Junior Officer of the Year. (U. S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams/Released)

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Arizona National Guard recognized its top service members at the state's Outstanding Soldier and Airmen of the Year Banquet here March 22.

 

This year's banquet was the first joint Arizona Army and Air National Guard award ceremony, which allowed the Arizona National Guard 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 award for the Outstanding Solider, Non-Commissioned Officer and Junior Officer of the Year are based on performance during the Best Warrior Competition. 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 is awarded a trophy named after Medal of Honor recipient Frederick Ferguson who served as an aviator during the Vietnam War.

This year's winner was Spc. Gino Zappia, 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Phoenix.

The Non-commissioned Officer of the Year is 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. David Sanders, Western Army Aviation Training Site, Marana, Ariz.

The First Sergeant of the Year is 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. Justin Zulueta, 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Phoenix.

The Carl G. Hoyer Outstanding Warrant Officer of the Year award is 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 Samuel Bowman, 98th Aviation Troop Command, Phoenix.

The Junior Officer of the Year is awarded a trophy named after Oscar Temple, former Arizona Adjutant General.

This year's winner was Capt. Caleb Grandy, 98th Aviation Troop Command, Phoenix.

The Arizona Air National Guard award recipients were as follows:

The award for the Outstanding Airman of the Year, Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year are 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 Airman 1st Class Laura Carroll, 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix.

This year's winner for Non-commissioned Officer of the Year was Tech. Sgt. Christopher Davis, 214th Air Reconnaissance Group Tucson, Ariz.

This year's winner for Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year was Master Sgt. Kristeen Jones, 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson, Ariz.

The First Sergeant of the Year award is 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 Senior Master Sgt. Raul Ortega, 214th RG, Tucson, Ariz.

The State Command Chief Master Sergeant Award is 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 has 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 Senior Airman Orlando Calzadillas, 161st ARW, Phoenix.

The Maj. Gen. Donald L. Owens Award is 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 1st Lt. Mark Gronau, 214th RG, Tucson, Ariz. Speaking to the winners and to all of the Arizona National Guard, Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General - Arizona National Guard said, "Every one of you should be proud of the service you have given. We are a team, and the individual winners are a success because of the team around them - they are an outstanding representation of the organization to which they belong."