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117th Captain Earns Distinguished Awards

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- "Excellence in All We Do." It's the Air Force core value that comes to mind when you notice the recent accomplishments by Capt. Mitchell June. June recently returned from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base where he was named a Distinguished Graduate, a title only given to the top ten percent of the graduating class of approximately 600. Not to mention, only five percent of the officers are traditional guardsmen or reservists.

"So I went in with the objective to just do the very best I could," said June. "I wanted to show everyone that Guard members are just as good, if not better, than any active duty member out there and that we are all equal parts in the Air Force."

The five week course is a combination of classroom lessons, physical fitness, and leadership evaluations. June didn't know it, but while he was receiving the distinguished graduate honor at Squadron Officer School, his civilian leaders were nominating him for an award only given to the top one percent of professionals in his career field. Following his nomination, June eventually won the title of Modern Day Technology Leader by Black Engineer of the Year Award or "BEYA."

"It was pretty surreal when I heard I won the award," said June. "I've heard that this is really a career defining moment and to be able to get this award at a relatively early stage of my civilian career, it was very humbling."

June is a Systems Administrator with Raytheon, a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation concentrating in weapons and military and commercial technology. June gathers most of his motivation from his earlier years in life.

"For the most part, I am motivated from where I came from," said June. "I grew up in a single family home with my mother and my brother. We didn't always have a lot growing up. So at every point in my life I try to succeed and make myself better. I've always wanted to do well in whatever I do."