News | Feb. 15, 2017

Banquet recognizes Airmen’s hard work

By Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams 940th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 940th Air Refueling Wing held its Outstanding Airmen of the Year banquet Feb. 11, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California.


The OAY is an annual event, which commemorates the hard work of Airmen and civilian employees throughout the past year.


The nominees and their guests first attended a private medallion ceremony, where they were individually recognized and awarded a medal before the award winners were announced.


It started a theme that would be continued throughout the night: honoring the outstanding performance of these Airmen.


“Simply being nominated for these awards is a direct result of their professionalism, excellence in performance and service-before-self commitment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ray Dell’Ara, 940th Maintenance Group first sergeant and master of the medallion ceremony. “Each of you truly embodies the total Airman concept.”


Col. Craig C. Peters, 940th ARW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Carmen Madia, 940th ARW command chief, congratulated and thanked the winners for their efforts over the past year.


Following the medallion ceremony, the nominees joined the rest of the 85 attendees, including fellow members of the 940 ARW, retired Senior Master Sgt. Ritchie Adams, former commandant of the Roseville Veteran Foreign Wars Post 1487, Gary Bradford, Yuba County Board of Supervisors District Four Supervisor, and family and friends for social hour.


It wasn’t long before the chimes sounded and the evening’s ceremonies continued.


“Tonight’s nominees have displayed exemplary performance and stood out amongst their peers,” said emcee Tech. Sgt. Vesper Yasahardja, 940th Maintenance Group executive officer assistant “They all contributed to providing mission ready citizen Airmen in support of United States national security objectives.”


Volunteers tied yellow ribbons around glass centerpieces on each dinner table, symbolizing the wing’s deployed Airmen.


After dinner, the guest speaker, Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Proietti, Air Force Reserve’s Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Public Affairs Manager, spoke about the ambition, perseverance and challenges that must be overcome to be named an outstanding Airman.


“I’ve placed first in some things in my life, but looking back at it, I think I’ve learned more from times I was a runner-up,” Proietti said, as he spoke about his career and a master sergeant he was up against at an award ceremony. “[The senior NCO award of the year] wasn’t my competition… The guy in the mirror was.”


The ceremony concluded announcing the winners, which are mentioned below.


2016’s 940 ARW Outstanding Airmen of the Year Winners are:

Airman of the Year- (recently promoted) Staff Sgt. Malcom Webb, 940th Civil Engineer Squadron

NCO of the Year- Tech. Sgt. Erik Calderon, 940 AMXS

Senior NCO of the Year- Master Sgt. Travis Williams, 940th Maintenance Squadron

Field Grade Officer of the Year- Major Jaesin White, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Civilian of the Year- Joe Marturano, 940 LRS