315 AW hosts second annual Awards Gala

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Will Brugge
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 315th Airlift Wing hosted its second annual Awards Gala to highlight the accomplishments of the wing and its members, March 5, 2022, at the North Charleston Marriott, North Charleston, South Carolina. 

The keynote speaker for the awards gala was retired Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, 17th Command Chief Master Sergeant for Air Force Reserve Command and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the Air Force Reserve.

The awards gala provided members of the 315th Airlift Wing an opportunity to build comradery in a formal setting, recognizing and awarding exceptional Airmen for their performance over the past year, and hearing a motivating and inspirational speech from the keynote speaker.

“The annual awards gala gave members of the 315th Airlift Wing a chance to build comradery, reflect on the accomplishments of the wing, and recognize top performing Airmen, who demonstrated deviation, innovation, and a willingness to go above and beyond to complete their mission,” said Col. Adam Willis, 315th Airlift Wing commander. “I would also like to thank Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly for her motivating and moving words to the Airmen of the 315th Airlift Wing.”

Chief Kelly gave an inspirational speech highlighting her unlikely climb from living in a small shack in Guatemala when she was just five years old, taking care of her two younger siblings without parental help, all the way to her position as the 17th Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Air Force Reserve Command, receiving multiple graduate degrees, and becoming a published author among many other accomplishments. 

The awards ceremony concluded by honoring the 315 Airlift Wing annual award winners in ten different categories:

Airman of the Year: Staff Sgt. Jarred George, 315th Mission Support Group

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Leah Schmidt, 315th Operations Group

Senior NCO of the Year: Master Sgt. Jennifer Casey, 315th Mission Support Group

First Sergeant of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Mihilylov, 315th Maintenance Group

Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Thomas Mitchum, 315th Mission Support Group

Field Grade Officer of the Year: Lt. Col. Aaron Meadows, 315th Airlift Wing Staff

Category I Civilian of the Year: Ms. Jessica Lewis, 315th Maintenance Group

Category II Civilian of the Year: Mr. Stephen Townsend, 315th Maintenance Group

Key Spouse of the Year: Mrs. Corrie Altenburg

Squadron of the Year: 300th Airlift Squadron 

Congratulations to all of the award nominees and recipients and thank you for a great year.

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