by Army National Guard Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau
7/31/2012 - ARLINGTON, Va. (7/30/12) -- Senior leaders from the National Guard will host the 2012 Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year banquet, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. August 24 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel.
"The National Guard Bureau is excited to host a banquet in honor of our outstanding Soldiers and Airmen from this year," said Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall, senior enlisted leader of the National Guard Bureau.
The banquet is held each year in honor of the top Soldiers and Airmen from both the Army and Air National Guard.
This year's Army National Guard honorees are:
Army National Guard Soldier of the Year: TBD
Army National Guard Noncommissioned officer of the Year: TBD
Army National Guard Recruiter of the Year:
· Sgt. 1st Class Craig Wester, Arizona Army National Guard
Army National Guard Best Ranger Team Top Placers:
· Staff Sgt. Matthew Madiar, Illinois Army National Guard
· Sgt. 1st Class Zachery Phillips, Oregon Army National Guard
· Cpt. Robert Killian, Colorado Army National Guard
· 1st Lt. Nicholas Plocar, Wisconsin Army National Guard
The top Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the year for the Army Guard will be determined during the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition at Fort Benning, Ga. July 30 - Aug. 3.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, command sergeant major of the Army National Guard - who is en route to the Best Warrior Competition - said, "As the command sergeant major of the Army National Guard, I am looking forward to honoring our top Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from each of the regions around the U.S.
"They will soon be competing at the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition down at Fort Benning to see who among them is the best of the best - but, really, they are all the best and have worked hard to prove that to themselves and the Army National Guard," Burch said.
The Air National Guard honorees for this year are:
Air National Guard Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:
· Senior Master Sgt. Luke W. Thompson, 125th Special Tactics Squadron, Oregon
Air National Guard
Air National Guard Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:
· Tech. Sgt. Jacob S. Curtis, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard
Air National Guard Airman of the Year:
· Senior Airman Michael D. McCaffrey, 116th Air Refueling Wing, Washington
Air National Guard
Air National Guard First Sergeant of the Year:
· Master Sgt. Fred W. Hudgins Jr., 161st Air Refueling Wing, Arizona Air
Air National Guard Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year:
· Master Sergeant Jeffrey L. Lamarche, Eastern Air Defense Sector, New York
Air National Guard
Air National Guard Honor Guard Member of the Year:
· Staff Sgt. Carrie M. Kline, 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard
"We celebrate these six Outstanding Airmen who represent the 91,000 amazing ANG enlisted warriors," said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Muncy, the command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard. "I wish we could honor all our Guard Soldiers and Airmen like we do these lucky few. They all should be the toast of every town, village, and city in America."
Those lucky few will most certainly be the toast of the District when they are recognized for all of their hard work to rise to the top of their respective services.
"The choice of who will represent the Army and the Air National Guard is never easy, however, individuals who will be honored in August in our nation's capital are truly America's finest Citizen-Warriors, and I very much look forward to meeting each of them," Jelinski-Hall said.