"Not your father's Wing Awards Ceremony"

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Josh Mead
  • Public Affairs, 103rd Airlift Wing
The best of the wing's best were called out during the 103rd Airlift Wing's Annual Recognition Ceremony June 28 in the main hangar on base. Every year, the wing publicly honors its outstanding airmen by presenting certain distinguished awards.

This year, the same was true, only completely different. Standing in formation for at least an hour while awards are handed out to deserving recipients may be a thing of the past. This year's banquet style gathering brought airmen together to partake in lunch and camaraderie prior to the "ceremonial" award presentations. Brainchild to the Chief's Council, they supported the event with burgers and hot dogs for lunch.

"It should be something we look forward to and something we enjoy. And along those lines we have made some pretty significant changes to this awards ceremony. I think anyone that has experienced any of our wing awards ceremonies in the past will recognize a lot of those changes right away. And we're trying to make it more enjoyable, something a little more palatable, and something folks actually look forward to here each year," said Col. Frank Detorie, wing commander, 103rd Airlift Wing.

The distinguished guests presiding over the ceremony were Brig. Gen. Richard Mitchell, chief of staff for the Conn. Air National Guard and Brig. Gen. Daniel Peabody, assistant adjutant general (air), Joint Force Headquarters.

This year, only the top level recipients were recognized at the ceremony. With the new format, wing members gathered in casual style, sitting at tables instead of standing in formation. Col. Detorie reiterated that the ceremony should be kept short and relaxed.

"I would ask a few things as this thing does kind of evolve. One is that you participate today, that you in audience there give your attention," Detorie said. "Because it is a work in progress, that you provide feedback. I think the mechanism we are going to use for that is the first shirts. Things you like, don't like about the changes we've made. If you would provide those through your first sergeant so we can continue to improve this thing and make it better and something you folks would enjoy, I sure would appreciate that."