ISR’s brightest honored at 37th Annual Larson Awards

An ISR Airman receives a Larson Award medal from Lee Anthony, executive council representative, Freedom Through Viligance Association, Nov. 2 at 25th Air Force Headquarters, as Command Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman observes. (U.S. Air Force photo/William B. Belcher)

An ISR Airman receives a Larson Award medal from Lee Anthony, executive council representative, Freedom Through Viligance Association, Nov. 2 at 25th Air Force Headquarters, as Command Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman observes. (U.S. Air Force photo/William B. Belcher)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, TEXAS --

The 37th Annual Maj. Gen. Doyle E. Larson Awards ceremony was held Nov. 2 at 25th Air Force Headquarters. The award recognizes the top technicians in 20 career fields vital to the accomplishment of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission.

At the ceremony, each of the Larson finalists was awarded either a gold, silver or bronze medal, depending on the finalist’s score on a test of knowledge in their respective specialty. There were 36 exceptional Airmen recognized this year.

The Larson Award confirms leadership’s commitment to the enlisted members of 25th Air Force.

“This is one of those unique things the 25th does,” said Maj. Gen. B.J. Shwedo, Commander, 25th AF, during his remarks at the ceremony.

“Eighty percent of our NAF [Numbered Air Force] is enlisted,” Shwedo said. The winners of this award are the best and brightest of those Airmen.

“We are looking into the future, and I need you, Larson award winners, to have the same vision,” he said

The recipients of the 2016 Larson Awards are now a part of 25th Air Force history.

“I want our Airmen to know they are a part of our heritage,” said Command Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman. “This is all about appreciating our Air Force.”

One recipient said it felt good to be recognized as a technician, but the week in San Antonio was not all about the awards.

“It was a great experience and opportunity to be able to come here and work on continuous process improvement this week,” said Staff Sgt. Alex, 531st Intelligence Squadron, gold medal recipient. He scored highest among the 2,600 Airmen eligible to test in his career field this year.

Being with people from other career fields and coming up with solutions to problems was a highlight of the week for Tech. Sgt. Heather, 450 IS, as well.

The Airman, a bronze medal recipient, said she also realizes the award is a long-term honor.

“I think for all of us, this is a significant milestone in our careers, being selected as the best of the best,” she said. There were 700 Airmen eligible to test in her career field.

The Larson Awards program originated in 1979, the year Maj. Gen. Larson assumed command of the U.S. Air Force Security Service, which later became the Electronic Security Command. Combining his vision and technical prowess, Larson improved the performance of the organization's global cryptologic mission, setting the foundation for 25th Air Force.