Former Command Chief Master Sgt. Honored at Nation’s Capital Published Jan. 4, 2009 By Staff Sgt. Erin McNamara, Public Affairs 103rd Airlift Wing BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- More than a dozen women earned the Department of Defense Female Trailblazer Award and were recognized during a ceremony on March 20, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Chief Master Sgt. Wanda Wawruck, personnel superintendent, 103rd Military Personnel Flight, Connecticut Air National Guard, was one of 13 awardees. Wawruck is the first female to have served the Connecticut Air National Guard in the capacity of Command Chief Master Sergeant at each the wing and state levels. The recognition was conferred on women whose leadership has been instrumental toward the breakdown of perceived gender barriers and whose career has exemplified military excellence for future generations of servicewomen. Initially unaware that she had been submitted for the award by Connecticut Joint Force Headquarters personnel, she was "stunned" upon receiving news of her selection during a congratulatory phone call from a friend. She was later accompanied to a special reception at the Women's Art Museum in Washington by her husband, Col. Danny Wawruck and her commander, Maj. Ann Ware. She described the reception atmosphere as "filled with pride" as she and other high ranking military servants received formal recognition for their accomplishments. Asked how it felt to share the distinction with women whose service has included leadership of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq and Afghanistan, Wawruck responded, "It's quite humbling." "It was great to interact with a broad spectrum of women who have made significant contributions but, more importantly, paved the road for others to follow and make their own piece of history," she said. Wawruck offered insight and encouragement to the guardsmen whose history is being written in the Connecticut National Guard. "No matter what career field you are in, we all bring something to the fight. Always do your best--strive to make every opportunity a chance to learn; in other words, step out of your comfort zone--take time to understand before criticizing or judging."