JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
Airmen received gold, silver, and bronze medals during the 2018 Maj. Gen. Doyle E. Larson Awards ceremony, Dec. 6.
The Larson Awards are Twenty-Fifth Air Force’s way to recognize the top technicians vital to accomplishing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
Of the nearly 18,000 Airmen eligible to take the Larson Awards tests, 36 finalists were invited to San Antonio for a week of recognition activities, including a banquet where final medal rankings were revealed and the hardware was presented by Maj. Gen. Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brien, Twenty-Fifth Air Force commander and Chief Master Sgt. Stanley Cadell, Twenty-Fifth Air Force command chief.
Gold medalist U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gabriel, (previously assigned to the 34th Intelligence Squadron, 70th ISR Wing) now teaches technical training instructors at the 17th Training Support Squadron, Goodfellow AFB, Texas. Gabriel said the information he learned during the recognition week will help him in the future.
“We learned a lot,” he said. “Things we probably would not have otherwise – like the breakdown of the Twenty-Fifth Air Force staff.” Gabriel said the Air Force Personnel Center assignment process briefing “dispelled a lot of myths that have been going around the lower and middle enlisted ranks.”
“I plan to pass that information along to my coworkers and my troops,” he said. “I have also learned a lot of interesting information that I can incorporate into my decision making and mentorship.”
For U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie, a gold medalist from the 363rd ISRW, getting to know Airmen from other career fields was a highlight of the recognition week.
“The opportunities I had to meet and network with other Airmen have really helped me see more of the big picture, and I now have contacts that can help me and my Airmen back in my squadron,” she said. “More than that, I am applying for OTS [Officer Training School] this up-coming board, and I really hope this win helps me achieve my commissioning goal.”
Several of this year’s winners were repeat participants in the Larson Awards and appreciated changes to the program, such as the added community involvement and AFPC tour. U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ryan, a 2018 bronze medalist assigned to the Air Force Technical Applications Center and stationed at Buckley AFB, Colorado, works with nuclear treaty monitoring.
“This is my second time coming out here,” said Ryan. “I was a silver medalist two years ago, and I loved seeing the changes they have made to help grow the program.”
First round testing for the 2019 Larson Awards will take place summer 2019. Interested Airmen can contact their unit Larson Awards representative for details and to sign up for testing.