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Master Sgt. Joshua Johnson selected as Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Katherine Lee
  • Colorado National Guard

GREELEY, CO -- U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua Johnson, a First Sergeant, 233rd Space Group, Security Forces Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard, was selected as the Air National Guard’s 2022 Outstanding Airman of the Year.

Master Sgt. Johnson embodies the three core values of the Air Force: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all he does.

Johnson established an Air Force Cycling Team non-profit, encompassing 14 regional teams and 217 cyclists. As the coach, he prepared routes, gives safety briefs, authors training plans, and hosted the first-ever Air Force Memorial-2-Memorial ride.

“I love to coach, serve, and inspire others,” Johnson said. “The Air Force Memorial-2-Memorial ride inspired two Airmen cyclists I was coaching who sought coaching and personalized training which resulted in them losing a combined 60 pounds in preparing for the ride.”

Johnson enjoys the challenges of being a coach to push athletes physically and mentally outside their comfort zone to succeed in goals they never thought they could achieve. His athletic leadership and community relations culminated in 102 cyclists completing the Memorial-2-Memorial ride.

When given a seven-day notice to deploy, Johnson embraced the news instead of panicking.

He put service before self, leveraged his connections, and was able to assemble 1,600 care packages which he then helped deliver to 400 deployed Airmen, improving their quality of life.

During this deployment, Johnson ensured every Airman was cared for, including three hospitalized for a collective 17 days in two Saudi hospitals, hosted four group morale events, coordinated United Service Organizations (USO) support, and increased knowledge across all Air Force Specialty Codes through two K-9 team demos.

Johnson was also the First Sergeants Council President and mentored 37 additional duty and full-time First Sergeants, which increased event participation in the 140th wing by 74% in less than a year.

“As the First Sergeants Council President, I strived to put integrity first,” Johnson said. “I did this by embracing trustworthiness and incorruptibility with my fellow Airmen.”

While balancing his mentorship duties, Johnson also networked across three installations and one tenant unit for critical improvements, affecting 3,000 Colorado Air National Guard Airmen and families.

Additionally, while in this position, Johnson advocated for the importance of honest feedback, which produced an unprecedented 88% of completion of the Defense Organizational Climate Survey participation rate, a five-year best. Johnson then actioned corrective measures with the assistance of 14 helping agencies to address top concerns.

Johnson has made an impact on many Airmen’s lives.

“First Sergeants know, it's a unit's responsibility to actively support airmen and their families,” he said. “Developing tomorrow's leaders requires we take care of Airmen's families today.”