For Immediate Release
April 21, 2011
Air Force Association Salutes 2011 Team of the Year
Arlington, VA – The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced the Air Force First Sergeants are being honored as AFA’s 2011 Team of the Year.
Each year the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, along with the major command-level command chief master sergeants, selects a specific Air Force career field to be recognized as the “Team of the Year.” They then select individual members within that career field who are professionals who clearly display superior technical expertise, attract the praise of their superiors and provide leadership and inspiration to others.
AFA will pay tribute to these Airmen and their important contribution to the Air Force at the Team of the Year Awards Ceremony and Reception at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2011, at 6 p.m. The awards ceremony will be part of an exclusive four-day program that also includes visits with Air Force Leaders at the Pentagon, a visit with individual team member’s congressman on Capitol Hill and other special events throughout the nation’s capital.
“The Air Force Association always finds this award a great opportunity to highlight a very essential career field and recognize individuals who have shown great dedication and sacrifice,” said Sandy Schlitt, AFA Chairman of the Board. “These men and women have showed exceptional professionalism, technical expertise, and leadership skills that have truly warranted this recognition. We commend them for their great commitment and courage.”
“We are proud to be able to present this honor to these individuals, who have also proven to be inspirations to others with their bravery and their accomplishments,” said Mike Dunn, President of AFA. “The role of a first sergeant is exceptionally important, as they are responsible for the morale and welfare of the airmen in their squadrons. We admire the service and dedication of all the individuals under the first sergeant family.”
For more details, contact Lynette Cross at (703) 247-5800 ext. 4807.
The following individuals will represent the First Sergeant family for the 2011 Team of the Year Award:
- Chief Master Sergeant David R. Henry serves as Air Force Reserve Command First Sergeant Functional Manager at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. He is responsible for advising the Command on the training and utilization of 521 assigned Air Force Reserve Command First Sergeants. He entered the Air Force in August 1989. His background includes various duties in aircraft maintenance and as a First Sergeant at squadron, group, wing and headquarters levels. Among his many decorations are the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
- Senior Master Sergeant Melanie K. Noel serves as an instructor at the U.S. Air Force First Sergeant Academy at Gunter Annex, Alabama. Her duties include developing and delivering curriculum to prospective First Sergeants. She entered the Air Force in April 1992. Her background includes various duties in Security Forces, Personnel Administration and as a First Sergeant. Sergeant Noel has also deployed supporting Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Among her many decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal. Sergeant Noel helped author the first-ever First Sergeant Spouse’s Guide which provided critical information to the Air Force Family.
- Senior Master Sergeant Manny Piñeiro is the First Sergeant for Headquarters Third Air Force at Ramstein AB, Germany. He serves as the principle advisor to the commander on the morale, welfare, readiness and fitness for over 1,200 military and civilian personnel and their families. He also serves as a critical liaison with base and civilian agencies and performs quality force reviews for enlisted evaluations and professional military education programs. He entered the Air Force in July 1988. His background includes various duties in the services career field as well as a tour as a military training instructor. He also deployed to Southwest Asia supporting Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Among his many decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
- Senior Master Sergeant Ernest T. Williams is the First Sergeant for the 147th Combat Communications Squadron at San Diego Air National Guard Station, California. He serves as the commander’s critical link for all matters concerning the enlisted members assigned to the unit. He began his military service in June 1980 by enlisting in the Marine Corps. He then enlisted in the California Air National Guard in January, 1992. As a civilian, Sergeant Williams works for the Department of the Navy at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific where he supervises an engineering branch. Among his many decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Air Force Meritorious Unit Award.
- Master Sergeant Todd K. Meaney is the First Sergeant for the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. He acts as the principal advisor to the commander on all health, morale, welfare and discipline for more than 300 personnel. Sergeant Meaney enlisted in the Air Force in June 1990 as a Construction Equipment Operator Apprentice. He also retrained into the F-16 Avionics career field. Sergeant Meaney deployed supporting Operations DESERT STORM, ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM. Among his many decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
The AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members. Visit AFA www.AFA.org.
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