Top ANG Airmen honored during 'Focus on the Force' week
By Senior Airman John E. Hillier, Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
/ Published August 11, 2014
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
The six Air National Guard 2014 Outstanding Airmen of the Year shared their inspiring field experiences and enthusiasm with senior leadership at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here during the "Focus on the Force" week Aug. 4-7.
Each year, the Air National Guard seeks to recognize the Airmen who best embody the Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence.
Hosted by the office of the ANG Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, Focus on the Force week events include the Chiefs' Executive Course, Enlisted Field Advisory Council meeting, a gathering of former senior enlisted advisors and an all call recognizing the 2014 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
"Everybody has a share in making sure that someone else gets to sit in these Airmen's chair one day," said Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, the director of the ANG. "Every year we look for outstanding Airmen and there's somebody out in the field right now who just needs a little bit of encouragement to occupy one of these chairs and they don't even know it yet."
The six honorees brought the perspective of the 91,000 enlisted Airmen across the Air National Guard to the EFAC, sharing first-hand challenges that enlisted members experience in the field. They also had the opportunity to sit in for part of the CEC, which is a familiarization course for recently-promoted ANG chief master sergeants, and speak with former senior enlisted advisors and command chief master sergeants of the ANG.
"We brought our Outstanding Airmen of the Year to talk with us last year, too, and we hope to do this for many years to come," said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy R. Tyvan, EFAC chairman and state of Washington command chief. "This is our opportunity to engage with Airmen of all levels...about the issues they face with policies and legislation."
While the core of the week-long event was the candid and forthright exchange on methods for handling the complex issues facing the Air Guard, one of the highlights was the recognition of the Air National Guard 2014 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
These honorees, selected from across the 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia, are: Senior Airman Christian J. Goldsmith, Airman of the Year, 150th Special Operations Wing, New Mexico ANG; Tech. Sgt. Douglas J. Matthews, Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon ANG; Master Sgt. Joseph G. Ashwood, Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, 147th Reconnaissance Wing, Texas ANG; Master Sgt. Linda E. Schwartzlow, First Sergeant of the Year, 128th Air Control Squadron, Wisconsin ANG; Tech. Sgt. Amy M. Ough, Honor Guard Member of the Year, Eastern Air Defense Sector, New York ANG; and Master Sgt. David E. Coker, Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year, 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin ANG.
Matthews was also selected as one of the U.S. Air Force 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. He will be honored at the annual Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition scheduled for September in Washington, D.C.