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AF Reserve Command announces outstanding Airmen

Outstanding Airman of the Year

All of the 2017 Outstanding Airman of the Year nominees stand together with Air Force Reserve Command leadership after the annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. The ceremony honored four Reserve enlisted Airmen as the best of the best for 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Lt. Gen. MaryAnne Miller, Air Force Reserve Command commander, addresses the audience at the command’s annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. The ceremony honored four Reserve enlisted Airmen as the best of the best for 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

The 2017 Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding Airman of the Year winners stand with the command’s leadership during the annual ceremony March 28 at Saint Augustine, Fla. The winners are from left to right: Master Sgt. Tammanica Muse, 911th Airlft Wing; Master Sgt. Kit Lui, 433rd Airlft Wing, , and.

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Lt. Gen. MaryAnne Miller, Air Force Reserve Command commander, addresses the audience at the command’s annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. The ceremony honored four Reserve enlisted Airmen as the best of the best for 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Carol Smits ends the annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony with inspiring words to end the night March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. Smits, a former AFRC command chief, was on hand to present a new first sergeant council award named in her honor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Diamond-shaped trophies await the Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding Airman of the Year nominees before the annual ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. The ceremony honored four Reserve enlisted Airmen as the best of the best for 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Carol Smits presents a new Air Force Reserve Command First Sergeant Council Award to the 452th Air Mobility Wing during the annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. The new award named after Smits, a former AFRC command chief, was created to emphasize a teamwork award program and recognize first sergeant council outstanding achievement. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Lt. Gen. MaryAnne Miller, Air Force Reserve Command commander, addresses the audience at the command’s annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. The ceremony honored four Reserve enlisted Airmen as the best of the best for 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly speaks to the audience of Airmen and family members at the conclusion of the annual Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. Kelly, the Air Force Reserve Command command chief, was the cohost of the ceremony that honored four enlisted Airmen as the best of the best for 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

Outstanding Airman of the Year
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Retired Chief Master Sgt. Carol Smits closes the annual Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding Airman of the Year Ceremony with a salute to those in attendance March 28 in Saint Augustine, Fla. Smits, a former AFRC command chief, was on hand to present a new first sergeant council award named in her honor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sam King)

SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Stripes, stars and lots of Air Force blue filled the room March 28 when Air Force Reserve Command brought its best together to honor its outstanding Airmen of the year.

The annual ceremony named and celebrated the best of the best enlisted Airmen in their respective rank-based categories.  The winners move up and compete at the Air Force level contest later this year.

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, the AFRC commander, advised the audience and the nominees that their actions and impacts do not always have to be large to make a difference.  She said not to forget about the small stuff and to accomplish those tasks with the biggest heart.

As the winning Airmen’s names were called, a definite powerhouse arose.  The 4th Air Force owned this year’s competition.  The numbered Air Force, located at March, ARB, California, claimed four of the five prizes, missing a total sweep by only one award.

The outstanding Airmen were:
Airman of the Year:  Staff Sgt. Tyler McPhail, 512th Airlift Wing, (4th AF)
NCO of the Year:  Tech. Sgt. Matthew Cleveland, 379th Space Range Squadron, (10th Air Force)
Senior NCO of the Year:  Master Sgt. Kit Lui, 433rd Airlft Wing, (4th AF)
First Sergeant of the Year:  Master Sgt. Tammanica Muse, 911th Airlft Wing, (4th AF)

A new award was presented for the first time this year and its namesake, Retired Chief Master Sgt. Carol Smits, was there to present it.  Smits, a former AFRC command chief, presented the new Carol Smits First Sergeant Council Award to 452th Air Mobility Wing (4th AF). The award was created to emphasize a teamwork award program and recognize first sergeant council outstanding achievement among other criteria.

At the end of the ceremony, the floor was turned over to Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, AFRC command chief, to wrap things up, but she quickly called Smits back to the stage and asked her close out the night with a few words.

Smits spoke to the winners and nominees saying they could return to the event next year or provide the guidance and wisdom they gained to another Airman.

“You can help them reach this stage and be a winner,” Smits said.

She wrapped up with a statement that got the audience of blue on their feet.

“You are the best of the best.  We are total force for sure, but none of those commands get off the ground without Air Force Reserve Command,” said Smits, who punctuated her speech by saluting the room of applauding Airmen to end the night.

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