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Annual Awards

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- What have you done this year? Did it have an impact on the wing or your shop? Do you supervise someone who had a great year, completed their CDC's with a great average, all while volunteering at different Family Readiness Group activities?

Everyone on this base makes a difference, and the wing works to recognize those accomplishments through the annual award program. Yet, the program will not work without unit level participation.

Barnes Instruction 36-2805 details the annual award program and establishes criteria for the annual member of the year awards...but there are more awards then just those 6. There are also BI's that outline the criteria for the Annual Safety Award, The Paul E. Myrick Information Assurance Award and soon, the Gen. George Keefe Award.

There are so many award programs that there is no reason the members who excel are not recognized. On September 12, the Federal Executive Association of Western Massachusetts recognized many federal employees, of which, Barnes had 8 nominees. In addition, there are unit specific awards. Every functional area recognizes those who excel.

As well as unit and wing awards, the National Guard recognizes superior performers. Last year, the 104FW had 3 National Guard winners: The Command Post Controller of the Year, Traffic Management Specialist of the Year, and Services Technician of the Year. As the best unit in the Guard, we should have had more. We can't win if we don't nominate.

October is the month to start working packages for these and many other programs. Here is a helpful URL which lists many of the annual awards. It is not the 'be-all, end-all' list, but it points you in the right direction: http://www.afwriting.com/afaward.htm

Every supervisor should submit their deserving members for recognition. It is so important, I will repeat the sentence: Every supervisor should submit their deserving members for recognition. You will never know if they are the best until they compete with their peers. In most cases, just the nomination for an award is a shot of encouragement that is often overlooked.

If you are not a supervisor and you feel you have done a good job, tell your boss in the form of being responsible. An Airman who has a list of his or her accomplishments, examples of community involvement and self improvement, stand a much better chance of winning an award then one who does not. Simply because the information is accessible. It's no secret that supervisors often have more things to do, then time to do them all. So, if you can make your boss' life easier by compiling data points, in the form of bullets, the supervisor will be more likely to present a strong package then if they have to compile the data themselves.

As the Executive Officer, I see most, if not all, of the award packages. I can attest that our unit has some of the best members in the National Guard and the Air Force. I can also attest that in many cases, there are awards that pass without good representation from the entire wing. Lastly, the bullets are often very soft, and the true nuggets (BIG IMPACT) information is buried in the text and not highlighted in the way that wins awards.

Copies of winning awards are typically distributed through the commanders and chiefs. If anyone would like to look at winning packages, just ask and I will get them to you. With the outstanding members in this wing, winning packages practically write themselves, but still need someone to push them through.

I challenge you all to take some time this weekend to re-evaluate your squadron's process and to also take pride and ownership over your own successes. Write them down!