September 18, 2007

Virginia Air Guard names Outstanding Airmen of the Year

Senior Airman Nettie R. Siler

By Lt. Col. Deb Magaldi
Virginia Air Guard Public Affairs

SANDSTON, Va. – The Virginia Air National Guard has named its Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

Chosen as Airman of the Year and the Virginia Air National Guard’s Overall Outstanding Airman of the Year is Senior Airman Nettie R. Siler of the 192nd Security Forces Squadron.

Siler joined the 192nd Fighter Wing in February 2004 and has spent more than two years either deployed or activated in support of the Global War on Terrorism. After graduating among the top students in her Security Forces apprentice academy class, she returned to Virginia and protected base resources and personnel during Operation Noble Eagle. During this period she volunteered for Operation Bright Star and was deployed to Egypt. Following that she volunteered for a nine-month Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment to the United Arab Emirates

 

Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey R. Hall

 
She completed the Combat Arms Maintenance and Training school at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, has completed an associate’s degree in criminal justice and is pursing a bachelor’s degree. Her commander, Capt. Keith Murphy, describes her as a “true asset and team player” that is highly respected by both subordinates and supervisors in the 192nd Security Forces Squadron. He describes her as an outstanding roll model and mentor for new unit Airmen.

The Virginia Air Guard’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Year is Jet Engine Mechanic Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey R. Hall, assigned to Detachment 3 of the 192nd Maintenance Squadron. The fulltime technician is responsible for maintaining the Pratt & Whitney F-119 Jet Engine for the F-22A Raptor and the F-100 Jet Engine for the F-15 Eagle.

Hall was the first guardsman to transition to the F-22A under the new associate-wing with the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base propulsion section. He put in place the groundwork for others to follow, according to his commander, Lt. Col. Cynthia Hall. He deployed to Germany in 2003, in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Master Sgt. Govie A. Peebles

He is an avid supporter of the Syms Middle School Parent-Teacher Association and has been a volunteer wrestling coach for seven years at Tabb High School in Hampton, Va. He has a bachelor’s degree in science and technology from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

The top Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year is Senior Master Sgt. Govie A. Peebles with the 192nd Security Forces Squadron. He served on active duty before joining the 192nd in 1993. He has been with the Henrico Sheriff’s Department since 1994 where he supervises 26 deputies while providing security for the Henrico County Court House. He is active in teaching youngsters and the elderly in the discipline of karate, and is proud of his mentoring work with youth. Additionally, he has been active in the Buddy Care program at Henning Elementary School in Chesterfield, Va., and helps with outreach and charitable projects including Virginia Special Olympics, Henrico Christmas Mother Program and the Seven Pines School Field Day. He has nearly completed his course requirements for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through The University of Phoenix.

As the 192nd Security Forces’ training manager he has initiated several new procedures and programs, which have benefited both unit members and its leadership. His efforts have resulted in a 95 percent success rate for Security Forces members completing their upgrade training. According to his commander, Capt. Keith Murphy, Peebles’ training initiatives have led to the unit’s highest-ever training level.

 

Master Sgt. Kevin A. Garrett

 
The Virginia Air National Guard’s First Sergeant of the Year is Master Sgt. Kevin A. Garrett, a traditional Guard member assigned to the 192nd Medical Group. Unit commander, Col. (Dr.) Greg Biernacki, describes Garrett as a self starter who identifies deficiencies and determines the best way to fix them. He developed an enlisted-performance feedback system that has “greatly enhanced unit cohesiveness and effectiveness by improving horizontal and vertical communication.” Garrett also restructured the medical group’s newcomer’s orientation to further enhance unit cohesiveness and effectiveness, and improved and invigorated the unit’s awards and decorations program. He was an integral part of the 192nd Medical Group’s successful Health Service Inspection, which is a comprehensive inspection of the facility and its programs. 

He served the 192nd Fighter Wing as a security forces augmentee during Operation Noble Eagle. During 2002, he deployed with the medical group to El Salvador on a humanitarian support mission, and in 2005 he deployed to New Orleans in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Garrett coaches youths in a recreational softball league and is a member of several military and civilian organizations. At the time of the recognition board’s meeting, he was one class away from completing his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through Saint Leo University.

The competition was tough and the review board’s decisions did not come easily. A great deal of time was spent deliberating, according to former State Command Chief Master Sgt. John Iorio. These are the most prestigious Air National Guard enlisted awards in the Commonwealth. And these individuals are truly the ‘best of the best of our enlisted corps.

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