Salt Lake City --
More than 30 Airmen from the Utah Air National Guard were recognized for outstanding achievement during 2016, at the Airman of the Year Banquet held Jan. 21, at the Utah Cultural Center in West Valley, Utah.
Retired Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray addressed the group of nearly 230 military and civilian guests at the ceremony. Murray encouraged the Airmen to build a culture of accountability and take personal responsibility for the success of the Utah Air Guard’s mission.
The award nominees were chosen by their units in recognition of their achievements throughout the year.
“We select winners based on contributions in the categories of leadership, self-improvement, character, conduct, and willingness to achieve unit, group, wing, Air National Guard and Air Force goals,” said Col. Kristin Streukens, commander of the 151st Air Refueling Wing.
The Following is a list of the 2016 recipients:
Airman of the Year: Staff Sgt. Dakota Trujillo, 151st Maintenance Group
Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Christopher Cook, 151st Mission Support Group
Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Master Sgt. Shatiece Werner, 151st Air Refueling Wing
First Sgt. of the Year: Master Sgt. Rik Ombach, 151st Mission Support Group
Honor Guard Member of the Year: Tech Sgt. Thomas Belgrade, 169th Intelligence Squadron
Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Jesse Barber, 151st Mission Support Group
Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Sasha Perronne, 151st Mission Support Group
Civilian of the Year: Ms. Jackie Ezell, 151st Mission Support Group
In addition to the individual categories, an award for Outstanding Team of the Year was given to the Honor Flight Team. This team was responsible for honoring America’s veterans for all of their sacrifices by assisting with the transport of our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials.
Senior NCO award winner, Master Sgt. Shatiece Werner, 151st ARW Inspector General Superintendent, has served in the Utah Air National Guard for 10 years. This is the second time she has been selected as the SNCO of the year.
“I am very humbled and appreciative to have received the award and although the award has my name on it I did not earn it alone,” said Werner. “The recognition actually belongs to my daughter and those who have supported me along the way.”