512th Airlift Wing announces 2022 annual award winners

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shayna Hodge
  • 512th Airlift Wing

The 512th Airlift Wing celebrated its 2022 annual award winners during its Warrior Awards event, Feb. 4 on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

The annual event recognizes enlisted and commissioned Airmen and civilian employees for their outstanding performance in their career fields.

“It’s critical for organizations to take care of its members. One way to take care of Airmen is to acknowledge their achievements,” said Col. Douglas Stouffer, 512th AW commander. “Tonight was an awesome celebration of the wing’s best and brightest. I’m so happy we were able to get together in person and honor our winners,” said Stouffer.

Chief Master Sgt. David Melby, 512th AW command chief, echoed Stouffer’s sentiments.

“It’s tough to live our mantra ‘512th Family’ without in-person interaction,” said Melby in reference to challenges the pandemic presented over the past couple of years. “It’s so much easier to fellowship and celebrate great people when we’re actually together.”

Stouffer presented annual awards to the following Airmen:

Airman of the Year, Senior Airman Zachary Britten, 712th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Staff Sgt. Ryan Vaina, 709th Airlift Squadron

Senior NCO of the Year, Master Sgt. Erin Esquer, 512th AW

First Sergeant of the Year, Master Sgt. Jason Keppert, 71st Aerial Port Squadron

Company Grade Officer of the Year, 1st Lt. Brandon Bermudez, 712th AMXS

CAT I Civilian of the Year , Alvin Hernandez, 512th Memorial Affairs Squadron

CAT II Civilian of the Year, Marlana Sirkis, 512 Force Support Squadron

CAT III Civilian of the Year, Laura Coseglia, 512th FSS

Key Spouse of the Year, Emily Reppert, 512th Civil Engineer Squadron

The in-person event was the Liberty Wing’s first since March 2020. Stouffer thanked the planning committee for their hard work and effort in ensuring its success.

Airmen enjoyed the relaxed environment as they celebrated their wingmen.

With over 200 Airmen in attendance, the hangar location roared with rounds of drumrolls before the emcee announced each winner. Squadron chants and shouts greeted winners as they accepted their awards.

Master Sgt. Erin Esquer, 512th AW wing readiness exercise coordinator, said receiving her award was an emotional moment.

“I teared up when I heard my name called for Senior NCO of the Year; because we have amazing Senior NCOs in our wing, so it’s an honor to be considered one of the best.”

Esquer, and the two other enlisted winners, now advance to compete at the 4th Air Force level.

With year-long award titles officially theirs, all the 2022 winners now have claim to coveted awards.

“What these Airmen have accomplished is significant,” said Melby. “Think about how many people are in the wing and how many people competed in each category. Tonight’s winners are the top performers for this year. They should enjoy this win and be very proud of themselves.”