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April Commander’s Call

Tech. Sgt. Gregory Pauli receives the Bronze Star with Valor from Gen Michael Akey during the April UTA.

Tech. Sgt. Gregory Pauli receives the Bronze Star with Valor from Gen Michael Akey during the April UTA.

Master Sgt. Ernest Smith is congratulated by Maj Gen Michael Akey for being selected as the Recruiter of the Year.

Master Sgt. Ernest Smith is congratulated by Maj Gen Michael Akey for being selected as the Recruiter of the Year.

Lt Col James Halley assumes command of the 104th Operations Group on April 15, 2009.

Lt Col James Halley assumes command of the 104th Operations Group on April 15, 2009.

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- Maj. General Michael Akey, Commander of the Mass. Air National Guard, presented a Bronze Star award for Valor to Tech. Sgt. Gregory Pauli during the April Commanders Call.

Tech. Sgt. Pauli was recognized for his heroism while serving as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team Leader at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on 1 Jun 2007. While his team responded to a improvised explosive device, a second device exploded in their path, killing and injuring members of his team. While pinned by small arms fire, Sgt. Pauli established command, control, and security to the site and assisted in executing combat lifesaving actions to the severely injured team members. After further securing the area, Sgt. Pauli planned and led the Casualty Evacuation which was imperative to the survival of his team members.

"The actions of Sgt. Pauli demonstrate the selflessness and warrior spirit of all our Airmen," said Col. Robert T. Brooks, 104th Wing Commander. "His actions are indicative of our core values, and we are proud to recognize his efforts."

Also during this commander's call, Master Sgt. Ernest Smith was recognized as the top production recruiter in the entire Air National Guard. He was awarded a Gold Badge for his efforts in attaining 53 accessions for the Mass. Air National Guard in 2008.

Meritorious Service Medals were also awarded to the following individuals for their dedication to the 104th Fighter Wing. (r) denotes a retirement decoration. Lt Col Anderson, Lt Col Charles Coulouras, Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Dumais, Senior Master Sgt. Robert Sabonis, Master Sgt Mark Fortin, Master Sgt. Keith Parent (r), Master Sgt. Curt Pichette (r) and Lt Col Emmanuel Saridakis

To culminate the Commanders Call, Lt. Col. James Halley was named the commander of the 104th Operations Support Flight from Lt. Col. Emmanuel Saridakis.