Col. William West (center), 1st Special Operations Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Jefferey Maberry (far right), 1st SOW command chief, pose with an unsung hero award winner and her unit at the Soundside Club on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Dec. 4, 2013. The unsung hero award highlights outstanding performers who have not been previously recognized. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeff Andrejcik)
Max Friedauer, previous Air Force Association president, introduces Col. William West, 1st Special Operations Wing commander, during an unsung hero award ceremony at the Soundside Club on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Dec. 4, 2013. The award highlights outstanding performers who have not been previously recognized. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeff Andrejcik)
by Senior Airman Michelle Vickers
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
12/5/2013 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The Hurlburt Field Chapter of the Air Force Association gave 24 Air Commandos of the 1st Special Operations Wing unsung hero awards during a ceremony at the Soundside Club here Dec. 4.
The AFA began the program in 1997 as a way to highlight outstanding performers. They recognize Airmen who work hard every day on the job and volunteer in the local community, but who have not been previously recognized.
Even those who may not see the connection between their jobs and the mission play an important role in the wing's primary mission of deploying Airmen, said Col. William West, 1st SOW commander.
"The award recipients share unique characteristics of being behind the scenes types who don't seek recognition, but show pride in their work," West said.
Since the award's inception, 331 Unsung Heroes accepted the honor. The biannual program holds one ceremony to recognize members of the 1st SOW and a separate ceremony for Hurlburt Field tenant units.
"The program recognizes those who are out there rain or shine, or in the back room, doing the work and never complaining with a smile on their face," said Max Friedauer, previous AFA president and creator of the award. "The program is all about saying thank you for your service, thank you for your hard work and we appreciate it."
The following Air Commandos received Unsung Hero Awards:
Airman 1st Class Johnathan Atsinger
Airman 1st Class Heaven Carroll
Airman 1st Class Jacob Clements
Senior Airman Marquise Coleman
Airman 1st Class Stephanie Cordero-Ruiz
Senior Airman Anthony Dickens
Senior Airman Mark Dwyre
Airman 1st Class Keith Edwards
Airman 1st Class Theoderos Emory
Senior Airman Christopher Guthrie
Senior Airman Patrick Linhart
Senior Airman Daniel Mahoney
Airman 1st Class Jeremy Minerich
Senior Airman Timothy Mobley
Airman 1st Class Anthony Novak
Airman 1st Class Jazmin Ortiz
Airman 1st Class Brandon Phillips
Airman 1st Class Andrea Posey
Senior Airman Lauren Quinones
Airman 1st Class Jessica Schultz
Ms. Kelli Schwall
Airman 1st Class Jennifer Smith
Senior Airman Haley Sullivan
Airman 1st Class Jessica Wade