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Capt. Gary Richardson Receives National EO Award

174th Fighter Wing Social Actions Officer, Captain Gary Richardson of the 174th Fighter Wing, Syracuse NY shows off the "Equal Opportunity Professional of the Year Award" he received at the September 2nd 2010 Annual National Guard EO conference held in Garden Grove, CA. (Us Air Force Photo by: Staff Sgt. James N. Faso II/Released)

174th Fighter Wing Equal Opportunity Officer, Capt. Gary Richardson, shows off the "Equal Opportunity Professional of the Year Award" he received at the 2 September 2010 Annual National Guard Equal Opportunity conference held in Garden Grove, CA. (Us Air Force Photo by: Staff Sgt. James N. Faso II/Released)

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY -- On September 2, 2010, Capt. Gary Richardson of the 174th Fighter Wing received the Equal Opportunity (EO) Officer of the Year Award at the Annual National Guard EO Conference in Garden Grove, California attended by over 300 people. This was the first time anyone from New York State has received this award.

"I am truly honored to receive this award on behalf of the 174th Fighter Wing," Richardson said in accepting the award. "If it wasn't for the support of my unit, and in particular Wing leadership, in allowing me the opportunity to do something I love, I wouldn't have even been considered for this award. This is really a unit award."

Capt. Richardson is a traditional Guardsman who heads up the 174's EO Office along with Capt James Hockey. The office, previously known under varying names such as Affirmative Action, Social Actions and Military Equal Opportunity, is charged with handling issues of discrimination and sexual harassment at Hancock Field. In addition, the office conducts an annual unit climate assessment, serves as a resource center for equal opportunity issues, provides mediation services and generally builds cohesiveness in the unit. Importantly, the office handles matters involving ALL members of Hancock Field, not just minorities.

In presenting the award to Capt Richardson, Lt. Col. Judith Mathewson, the Director of EO at the National Guard Bureau, highlighted his many accomplishments, including serving as the chief Air National Guard (ANG) facilitator at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, serving as an inspector on the national EO Inspector General (IG) team, assisting with drafting regulations and course materials for the national EO program, serving as the regional representative for the EO program in the five-state Northeast region and being a speaker at national conferences on diversity. Interestingly enough, Capt Richardson was the keynote speaker at the very same conference where he received his award.

Attending the ceremony along with Capt Richardson was his wife Sheila and 174th FW Vice Commander Charles Dorsey. According to Capt. Richardson, his success as a military officer can be attributed to the strong support he has received from his family and 174 FW Wing leadership, including Commander Col. Kevin Bradley, Col. Dorsey, retired Maj. Gen. Robert A. Knauff, retired Col. Anthony Basile, Lt. Col. MaryJo Timpano and Lt. Col. Mark Brady.

Capt. Richardson's civilian job is as Station Commander for the New York State Police, Schuyler station. "Without the support of a world class organization such as the State Police, I wouldn't be able to do what I do in the Air National Guard."