by Tech. Sgt. David Speicher
175th Wing Public Affairs
3/7/2015 - BALTIMORE -- A
Maryland Air National Guardsman was selected as the 2014 Air National
Guard Outstanding Human Resource Advisor of the Year Jan. 29.
The National Guard Bureau selected Senior Master Sgt. Sterling Johnson,
175th Wing human resource advisor, because of his contributions to
diversity, inclusion, cultural change and force management.
Johnson was recognized as having outstanding programs in place for the
175th Wing. The Guard Bureau has requested that Johnson use the wing's
program to enhance the other units in the Mid-Atlantic region.
"Now that we have the number one program, we will show these others
wings what we do," said Johnson. "My vision is to streamline [Community
College of the Air Force] degrees at these other wings."
Johnson feels he was awarded for working closely with the Army National
Guard and setting up new initiatives to enhance Airmen's careers. He
organized practice interview boards and worked with the Baltimore
Orioles baseball organization for a wing event at Oriole Park at Camden
Yards. He also coordinated retirement seminars and improved basic morale
and welfare for the wing. He has worked hard for Airmen to use the
College Level Examination Program, which allows students to take an exam
to demonstrate knowledge of a subject matter and with a passing score,
receive credit without taking the class.
"The biggest thing I am proud of is CLEP testing and fast tracking wing
members to their Community College of the Air Force degree," Johnson
said. "An associate degree will enhance not only our members' careers
but also their personal lives outside the fence."
Johnson, who previously been the 175th Maintenance Squadron first
sergeant, is in his fourth year in the job. He felt working as the Human
Resource Advisor was the next level from being a first sergeant because
it allows him to direct programs at the wing level. Even though he
finds it logistically tough, he finds it "easy because of the love of
Because of time restraints of a traditional guard drill weekend, he
works with a lot of groups on base: the Chief's Council, First Sergeant
Council, Junior Enlisted Council, student flight, retirees and mid-level
"I am always looking for feedback to support all aspects of our wing members' needs," said Johnson.
Johnson is proud of the wing's effort in professional military
education. The 175th Wing is one of only four of the 89 wings and units
in the Air National Guard hosting both an Airmen Leadership School and
NCO Academy classes in the same year.
The program will not rest on its laurels and Johnson has plans for the
future. Johnson wants to build a mentorship program targeting mid-level
NCOs to increase their supervisory skills.
"I consider these individuals instrumental for the future of our
Airmen," Johnson said. "We want to create an environment of inclusion to
enrich their self-confidence."