Guardsmen Honored at Annual Award Banquet
By , 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 08, 2017
Springfield, MA -- Nearly 400 Airmen and their families attended the ceremony to recognize and celebrate the some of the Wing's outstanding members of 2016 and to reflect on the major events of the past year.
"This is a unit that for many years has continually overcome adversity and loss," said the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe. "This unit is a textbook example of unity and excellence,"
The highest achieving members from the entire wing received accolades following competition against peers within their flights, squadrons, and groups. The wing winners will contend for state recognition and will compete at the national level against the winners from the active duty, Reserve, and other National Guard units.
Many Airmen agreed the 43rd Annual Awards Ceremony boosted morale and allowed wing members to connect with individuals across the base.
"It's a good morale builder," said Master Sgt. Matthew Chapman, first sergeant for the 104th Fighter Wing headquarters section. "It allows troops to get together with other areas of base and mingle out of uniform. This is a very family-oriented event."
"It is a good time to let our hair down and be a family again without the rank," said Tech Sgt. Ryan Joyce, crew chief.
"I am always proud to call myself a Barnestormer," said Maj. Gen. Keefe. "I look forward to continued success and hearing great things from you."
This year's wing winners are:
Master Sgt. Mark Gaskalka, Information Assurance Medallion Award
Senior Airman James Roncarati, Ground Safety Award
Major Ashley Rolfe, Annual Flight Safety Award
Master Sgt. Dawn Soldan, Major General George W. Keefe Award for "Enlisted Excellence"
Staff Sgt. Marie Georgefils, Honor Guard of the Year Award
Master Sgt. Carla Belliveau, First Sergeant of the Year
Mr. James Ladue, Civilian of the Year
A1C Trevor Perreault, Airman of the Year
Staff Sgt. John Tourtellotte, Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
Master Sgt. Michael Kearnes, Senior Non Commissioned Officer of the Year
Master Sgt Christine Lupacchino, AGR/Technician of the Year
First Lt. Jason Grimaldi, Company Grade Officer of the Year