116th ACW member named GA ANG’s Airman of the Year

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  • By 116th Public Affairs
  • 116th Air Control Wing
It's one thing to just do the assigned job, but going above and beyond is what makes someone outstanding.

Senior Airman David, an aircraft structural mechanic from the 116th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, did just that and in January, was named the 2014 Outstanding Airman of the Year for both the 116th Air Control Wing and also for the Georgia Air National Guard. 

According to the award submission, it was his job performance during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2014 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom that set David apart from the rest of his peers. 

"He accomplished two things that have never been done before," said his supervisor.  "He was able repair the ejection seat from a B-1B Lancer and also a fuselage that had taken ground fire."

In addition to the ejection seat and fuselage repairs, David's efforts during the deployment resulted in the evacuation of more than 80 patients, the movement of 3,000 personnel in and out of the area of responsibility, and the saving of $84, 000 in procurement costs.

David said the deployment was an eye-opening experience and he had to quickly adapt to working on different aircraft than what he is used to.

"Over the 90 days, I relied on his training and the guidance of those with more experience," he said.

According to his supervisor, Master Sgt. Ryan, 116th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, David's personality and job performance were what set him apart from the rest along with an unmatched ability to work with others.

"David's work ethic and innovation have streamlined many processes and saved hundreds of man hours," said Ryan. "Not only has it saved time, but it has also greatly reduced error rates and established new standards of excellence."

That sentiment was echoed by several of David's co-workers, including Tech. Sgt. Todd. 

"He takes anything we throw at him. The supervision here has great confidence in David's ability," said Todd. "He's proactive in his training, developing his skills every chance he can get."

David said he was honored to win for the wing but was shocked when he received a phone call from his chief, congratulating him for being selected as the state winner.

Superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements are all part of the criteria OAY nominees must demonstrate.

In addition to his outstanding job performance achievements, David is also an active member in the local community.

Last summer, David assisted in a playground refurbishing effort at Camp Vinson Valley in Byron, Georgia. He also worked as a volunteer for the 2014 Little League World Series that was held in Warner Robins, Georgia. 

"I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for leadership trusting me and putting me in positions to be successful," said David.

David will go on to compete at the National Guard Bureau level. 

(Last names have been omitted for security purposes)