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Mighty Ninety wins awards, recognizes sacrifice

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
Last week, toward the end of the quarterly awards breakfast, Chief Master Sgt. Marty Anderson, 90th Missile Wing command chief, and I handed out the Spirit Award. The idea was dreamed up by the chiefs, and we liked it. I have always said that a unit understanding how to work hard and play hard typically is a very successful unit. This award is part of the play-hard piece of the equation. So, Col. Scott Fox, 90th MW vice commander, Chief Anderson and I started watching the groups this quarter to see which one indeed has exemplified the best spirit. We have taken notes at NCO induction luncheons, Airmen Leadership School dinners, heritage luncheons (when it is appropriate), etc. The trophy is quite plain -- for now! We only have one rule for the group that earns it. The winner will keep it for one quarter and then must add something to the trophy before the next quarterly awards breakfast.

The first-ever F. E. Warren Spirit Award went to the "Mighty Medics" at the 90th Medical Group. Their spirit this past quarter is indeed a cut above the rest!

The good news continues to pour in. The 90th Maintenance Group earned the 2010 Col. George T. Chadwell Memorial Trophy which is awarded annually to the ICBM maintenance organization showing superior maintenance performance in support of its assigned mission. Master Sgt. Jason Krebsbach, 90th Security Support Squadron, earned the 2010 20th Air Force Security Forces Award for senior NCO. The Hardened Intersite Cable System section, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron earned the 20th AF Team of the Quarter and Staff Sgt. Michael Holmes, 90th Maintenance Group earned 20th AF Maintenance Evaluator of the Quarter. Last week, we were notified that the 90th Fire Emergency Services Flight won both the Air Force and Department of Defense Fire Prevention Program of the Year! Then we were notified we won a large amount of Air Force Global Strike Command awards. The Power Award for the outstanding missile crew was won by Capt. Dan Moore and 2nd Lt. Stephan McVay, both from 90th Operations Support Squadron. The ICBM Flight Commander of the Year was awarded to Capt. Chad Redwine, 320th Missile Squadron. The helicopter instructor pilot of the year was presented to Capt. Emily Ladd, 37th Helicopter Squadron. The helicopter instructor flight engineer of the year was won by Tech. Sgt. Preston Boline, 37th HS. And finally, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Burnite, 37th HS, won the outstanding career enlisted aviator of the year. My personal congratulations to all of you -- excellent news!

What a great picture on the cover of the paper last week. If you recall, it displayed the Veterans of Underage Military Service members. They were very touched by the tours they received on our base. So, Colonel Fox, Chief Anderson and I jumped in the car to thank and coin those members of the wing who took their personal time to help out with this extraordinary event. Our heartfelt thanks went to 2nd. Lt. Stacey Fenton, 90th MW Public Affairs, Senior Airman Daryl Knee, 90th MW/PA, Senior Airman Steveison Ivory, 90th SSPTS, Airman 1st Class Thomas Asmus, 90th Maintenance Operations Squadron, and Airman 1st Class Wilmac Jean-Baptiste, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron.

I know a lot of you join in with me and pick up trash when you see it on the ground here on base. I really appreciate that gesture. But, there is a group of folks that are dedicated to this particular endeavor. Colonel Fox, Chief Anderson and I pulled up alongside the Skils-Kin's van and personally coined Sharon Thornton, job coach, and her team Nicole Lindner, Ryan Harris, Bryan LaTosh and Scott Norris. We thanked them for the diligent work they do in keeping this base sparkling.

Chief Anderson and I stopped by to say thank you to our honor guard team. While many of them were involved with code change, we just wanted to stop by and thank this selfless team for going above and beyond their normal AF jobs. Just this year alone, they have completed a total of 20 military funerals. They are responsible for covering an area of responsibility totaling 96,000 square-miles. 1st Lt. Dane Skousen, 320th MS and honor guard officer in charge, 1st Lt. Richard Smith, 90th MXG and honor guard assistant officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Fredrick Stewart, 90th Force Support Squadron and honor guard NCO in charge, head up this illustrious team. I thank them and all the Airmen who comprise this first-class team; thank you for going above and beyond the norm -- well done!

An e-mail was passed to Julie that was written by Michael Dunn, President/CEO Air Force Association. As you know, this month is the month of the military child. I'll let Mike's original e-mail tell the story:

"I want to tell you a story ... one that very few people know. When I was President of the National Defense University, I frequently bragged about the NDU library, calling it the 'best library in the world.' I had reason to ... as, before I took over, it had won an award as the best library in government.

One night, at a social event at my home, I asserted the above praise, and my dear wife responded: "If your library is so great, ask them to find the origin of the term 'Military Brat.' I think the term is an acronym." [Many of you may know the term Brat is a common reference to children of military members. It is a term of endearment -- referring to a group who endure hardships, frequently move, change schools, leave behind friends, put up with frequent deployments, long absences of their parent(s), and (sometimes) inadequate government housing.]

Well - it turns out my wife was right -- and the NDU library came through. A researcher there found a book written in 1921 which described the origins of the term. It came, like many of our military traditions, from the British army. It seems that when a member of the British army was assigned abroad and could take his family (mostly in India), the family went with the member in an Admin status entitled: BRAT status. It stands for: British Regiment Attached Traveler. Over the years, it was altered to refer only to the children of the military member (the wives of the British army objected to the term referring to them). And the term not only stuck, but in many cases was adopted world-wide."

I found this story interesting. Nevertheless, be sure to give your children an extra hug this month -- they deserve it!

Go Forth and Conquer!