Military News

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Two Silicon Valley-based Air National Guardsmen receive national recognition

by 1Lt. Roderick Bersamina
129th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

4/14/2015 - MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif.  -- Two California Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing have received national honors from the Air National Guard.

Master Sgt. Sally J. Ford, 129th Mission Support Group First Sergeant, has been selected the First Sergeant of the Year for the 2015 Air National Guard. Technical Sgt. Kevin B. Centinaje, 129th Recruiting Office, has been selected the National Rookie Recruiter of the Year for 2015 by the Air National Guard.

"Today's military environment demands the best people and that's what we have here at the 129th Rescue Wing," said Col. Gregory F. Jones, 129th Rescue Wing Commander. "Two national honors in a week for the 129th is noteworthy and I applaud these two California Air Guardsmen for their achievements."

The First Sergeant of the Year award recognizes the important contributions and leadership qualities exhibited by Air National Guard members in the first sergeant special duty career field.  First sergeants provide a dedicated focal point for all readiness, health, morale, welfare and quality of life issues within their organizations.

"So much of a first sergeant's job involves working behind the scenes; it is with amazing pride that we can publicly acknowledge Master Sgt. Ford's accomplishments," said Senior Master Sgt. Lindsey Bartlett, 129th Rescue Wing First Sergeant. "Her dedication to the men and women of the 129th Rescue Wing is a testament to the core values we all hold close: Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in all we do."

The National Rookie Recruiter of the Year award honors the top recruiters in their first 24 months from around the country. The greatest factor for the award is production over 100% of the local recruitment goal for the year. The 129th's local goal was 50 recruits; Centinaje recruited 65 qualified candidates. Like all other candidates, Centinaje had to have also won multiple recruiting awards throughout the year for recruiting diversity and both non-prior service and prior service members.

"Technical Sgt. Centinaje is driven by his sense of family and community," said Master Sgt. Monica Roberts, 129th Recruiting Office Supervisor. "He is heavily involved in his childhood schools, which contributes to his success."

Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the primary mission of the 129th Rescue Wing is to perform personnel recovery anywhere in the world. Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and Guardian Angel teams, the 129th Rescue Wing performs a wide variety of civilian and military personnel-recovery missions, including the rescue of distressed persons aboard ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations. To date, the wing is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,000 people.

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