Governor Recognizes Top Guard Members at Joint Ceremony at Camp Chamberlain
AUGUSTA, ME (06/04/2018) (readMedia)-- Governor Paul R. LePage attended the second annual Maine National Guard Outstanding Airmen and Best Warrior ceremony at Camp Chamberlain on Sunday, June 3rd.
The event recognized the top enlisted members of the entire Maine National Guard - a pool of over 3,100 service members with approximately 2,000 from the Army National Guard and 1,100 from the Air National Guard. The Air National Guard recognizes Outstanding Airmen, while the Maine Army National Guard recognizes Best Warriors.
"Maine's airmen and soldiers serve around the globe in support of Homeland Security and disaster relief," said LePage. "Those being recognized today have gone beyond simply doing their duty."
Sunday's ceremony was an exciting opportunity to recognize both the Maine Air and Army National Guard's outstanding service member at the same time.
Also in attendance included Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, Adjutant General for the Maine National Guard, Brig. Gen. Hugh T. Corbett, Assistant Adjutant General for the Maine Army National Guard, Brig. Gen. Scott A. Young, Assistant Adjutant General for the Maine Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. Eric Lind, Commander of the Air National Guard, service members from the Maine Army and Air National Guard and family members.
"With the challenges our nation faces all over the globe, it is the quality of our people that makes a difference," said Farnham. "These Outstanding Airmen and Best Warrior winners are the best of the best. They represent our Maine Citizen Soldiers and Airmen every day and make us all proud to wear the uniform."
The Outstanding Airmen represents the top four enlisted candidates and one officer from the Maine Air National Guard from the following categories - Airman, Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, First Sergeant, and Company Grade Officer. The individuals selected as Outstanding Airmen of the Year from the Maine Air National Guard will be submitted to the National Guard Bureau for consideration as Air National Guard candidates for the Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year program. The Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year program selects one nominee from among all the Maine Air National Guard units for submission to the National Guard Bureau for consideration as an Air National Guard candidate for the Air Force Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year Program.
This year's Outstanding Airmen: Staff Sgt. Ronald L. Fowler, Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Pendergast, Master Sgt. Christopher D. Labonte, Master Sgt. Richard A. Chase, Staff Sgt. Chelsea M. Morrill and Capt. Gary S. Jordan.
The Best Warrior represents the top junior enlisted member and top non-commissioned officer from the Maine Army National Guard that are both tactically and technically proficient. Each unit within the state sends a junior enlisted member and Non-Commissioned Officer to compete at the Battalion level, with the winners sent to the brigade level and finally to the state level competition. This year's grueling best warrior competition conducted a modified physical fitness test featuring timed pushups, situps and a 3 mile run, a formal interview board to test each candidate's knowledge, day and night land navigation, timed ruck march with prescribed packing list, medical aid tasks, as well as a series of communications and marksmanship tasks. Each event is assigned a certain amount of points with the winners earning the most points.
This year's Best Warriors: Sgt. Jhustin Welch and Spc. Nicholas Bourget were recognized for winning the Best Warrior Competition at the state level.
While the criteria for the Air and Army National Guard are different, the outcome is the same: The Maine National Guard recognized the best of the best among its enlisted ranks, which promotes professional growth, friendly competition and e 'spirit des corps.
"Around the nation and around the world, Maine Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have a well-earned reputation of being the best of the best," said Chief Master Sgt. Kelly Hoffses, Maine Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant. "It is truly an honor to showcase these individuals who have further set themselves apart and proven themselves to be truly exceptional. I couldn't be more proud of them!"
For additional information, please contact Maj. Devin Robinson at 207-485-0035
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The Maine National Guard outstanding airmen of the year and best warrior competition winners' ceremony was held at Camp Chamberlain June 2, 2018. Pictured from left to right: Staff Sgt. Ronald L. Fowler, Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Pendergast, Master Sgt. Christopher D. Labonte, Spc. Nicholas Bourget, Sgt. Jhustin Welch, Master Sgt. Richard A. Chase, Staff Sgt. Chelsea M. Morrill and Capt. Gary S. Jordan.(Maine Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Sarah Myrick)
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State Command Sergeant Major Mark A. Smith speaks at the Maine National Guard's outstanding airmen of the year and best warrior competition winner's ceremony at Camp Chamberlain June 2, 2018.
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Maine's Governor Paul R. LePage speaks at the Maine National Guard's outstanding airmen of the year and best warrior competition winner's ceremony at Camp Chamberlain June 2, 2018. (Maine Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Sarah Myrick)