Hancock Field Airmen win multiple State-level awards

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Justin A. Huett
  • 174th ATKW
Three Airmen from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY were recently recognized for their outstanding achievements on and off base by being selected as "Airmen of the Year" for New York State.

Every year bases from across the State have the opportunity to submit up to six members to be recognized as one of the six Airman of the Year awards: Airman of the Year, Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, First Sergeant of the Year, Honor Guard Member of the Year and Honor Guard Coordinator of the Year. The members of the 174th Attack Wing won an unprecedent three out of the six awards in 2012.

The 174th isn't a stranger to having its members win at the State level. Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Herr, Superintendent of the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS), won  theSenior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year award. Herr commands respect from his peers, subordinates and superiors as a consummate professional. He began his career in 1996 when he joined the active duty Air Force.  After seeing the world and twelve years later, in April 2008 Herr transitioned from the active duty to the New York Air National Guard through the "Palace Front" program. Since entering the Air National Guard, Senior Master Sergeant Herr has served as an Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) member with the 274th ASOS where he has served as the Chief, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC)-Instructor and the Operations Superintendent. Sgt. Herr's reputation both on and off duty is something to be proud of.

Senior Airman Donald Anderson and Senior Airmen Matthias Anderson of the 174th Attack Wing exemplify what an Airman can be. They are not only brothers in arms, but cousins by blood. These two young men embody the Air Force motto of Integrity First, Service before self & Excellence in all we do. They both are members of the Honor Guard as well as coordinators for the Honor Guard. It's no wonder why these two stellar Airmen were selected as Honor Guard Member of the Year and Honor Guard Coordinator of the Year. Matthias received the Coordinator of the Year award for his service and exemplary record of coordinating all requests made for the Honor Guard, while Donald was awarded the Honor Guard Member of the Year award. For many, the Honor Guard is the last group of military members surviving family members will see and both Donald and Matthias feel it is their duty to perform with honor and respect and to leave the families with a positive lasting memory.

The arduous task of selecting members for these awards requires significant time and effort from a board made up of senior leadership from across Hancock Field and the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA). The process begins at the individual section level with the selection of Airmen of the Quarter.  These individuals then compete on a base-wide level.  From there they move onto Airmen of the Half and Airmen of the Year. Once the base Airmen of the Year have been selected, the winners move up to compete on the State and National levels. 

Congratulations to our outstanding performers and good luck at the National level!