Outstanding Airman Recognized at Annual Awards Banquet

  • Published
  • By Christian Deluca
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing Public Affiars

Airmen from the 514th Air Mobility Wing were recognized for their exceptional performance at the wings annual awards banquet at Tommy B's Activities Center Feb. 11.

The banquet, hosted by the 514th First Sergeants Council, honors the outstanding Airmen within their rank groups. Award winner's packets are then forwarded to 4th Air Force, where they have a chance to compete at the Air Force Reserve and Air Force levels.
Awards for civilian of the year in two categories were also handed out, as well as the McNeil Award, the Chief Kolesnikov Award and the Mitchell Cup Award.

The guest speaker for the banquet was Lt. Col. (Ret.) Justin Constantine, a former Marine and attorney, who is an inspirational speaker and leadership consultant. In 2006, while deployed in Iraq, Constantine was shot in the head by a sniper. He was considered dead by impact, but because of the quick and heroic actions of his fellow Marines and a Navy Corpsman, he miraculously survived. He earned the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He has been named a Champion of Change by the White House for his continued support of veterans and other wounded warriors.

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Joseph McNeil, for whom one of the awards is named, also attended the event. McNeil is a former commander of the 514th AMW, as well as one of the Greensboro Four. McNeil, and three of his friends, are attributed to launching the sit-in movement that sped up the passing of critical anti-segregation legislation in 1960, when they refused to leave a segregated lunch counter after they were declined service.

The 2016 514th Air Mobility Wing award winners are:

Outstanding Civilian Category I – Arthur Zitner, 78 ARS
Outstanding Civilian Category II – John Fielding, 514 MXG
Airman of the Year – Senior Airman Yvette Guillen, 514 OSS
Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year – Tech Sgt. Steven Cabrera, 732 AS
Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year – Master Sgt. Sean McClendon, 732 AS
Company Grade Officer of the Year – 1st Lt. Melissa Torchon, 714 AMXS
First Sergeant of the Year – Master Sgt. Meehan Jr., 78 ARS
Mitchell Cup Award – Master Sgt. Ryan Miller, 514 MXS
Chief Kolesnikov Award –Master Sergeant Corinne Aimable, 514 OSS
McNeil Award – Senior Master Sgt. John Wells, 88 APS
Freedom Wing Award squadron level – 78th Air Refueling SquadronFreedom Wing Award Group level – 514th Operations Group