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News | Dec. 15, 2022

Living up to our motto

By Tech. Sgt. Charles Johnston

The New Hampshire National Guard held its annual awards ceremony Dec. 13 at the Edward Cross Training Complex in Pembroke.
A cake cutting was also conducted to commemorate the Guard’s 386th birthday.

The year’s top individual soldiers, airmen and civilians were officially recognized for outstanding achievement.
Army Guard
Soldier of the Year: Sgt. Michael Downs
NCO of the Year: Sgt. Mark Hayward
Recruiting Rookie of the Year: Staff Sgt. Steven Pierce
Recruiting Expert of the Year: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Collins
TAG Match Champion: 1st Lt. Andrew Hudak Jr.
RTI Instructor of the Year: Sgt. 1st Class Crystal Boisvert
Air Guard
Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Jared Hakala
NCO of the Year: Staff Sgt. Adam Kenchion
Senior NCO of the Year: Master Sgt. Dave Cato
1st Sgt. of the Year: Master Sgt. Traci Renzella Molis
“Spirit of Hope” Recipient: Senior Airman Temika Lyman
Honor Guard Member of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Frederick Horne
Company Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Andrew Rodriquez
Title 5 of the Year: David Obertanec
State Employees
Maintenance Mechanic CFMO – State Maintenance: Christopher Auger, James Camberis, Bryan Costello
Maintenance Technician FFMO – State Maintenance: Jeffrey Letendre
Accountant – State Business Office: Richard Clorite, Thomas King, Erica King
Technical Support Specialist – Department of Information Management: Susanna Klein
Inventory Control Supervisor Pease ANG Base – Civil Operations: Christopher Boesch
Administrative Secretary – Division of Veterans Services: Cynthia Fisher
Supervisor – Division of Veterans Services: Jamie Cummings
Grants Program and Resource Development Coordinator – Division of Community Based Military Programs: Heather Smith
“Thanks for living up the Guard’s motto, ‘Always ready, always there’,” said NH Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities. “I can’t wait for 2023.”
Mikolaities highlighted the year’s top achievements for attendees with a “12 Days of Christmas” countdown.

12 – Operation Winter Surge: various COVID-19 relief missions were conducted throughout the state.
11 – Thunder Over New Hampshire Air Show: Pease Air National Guard Base earned gold at national awards ceremony for hosting the 2021 event.
10 – Biathlon and Marathon Athletes: multiple guardsmen competed on official “All Guard” running and biathlon developmental teams.
9 – Construction and Facilities Management: the Heritage Room in Concord, the state’s oldest armory, was converted into a military artifacts gallery, featuring an exhibit in honor of Capt. Harl Pease Jr., Medal of Honor recipient.
8 – State Partnership Program: the development of Department of Defense partnerships with the Republic of El Salvador and newcomer, the Republic of Cabo Verde.
7 – Innovative Readiness Training: missions in Greenfield State Park and Cherokee Nation enabled guardsmen to complete annual construction and medical training requirements while simultaneously serving communities.
6 -- Marksmanship Team: a four-man squad won the Marksmanship Advisory Council Region 1 Championship, comprising shooting teams from six northeastern states.
5 – Purple Heart Recipients: five soldiers of Charlie Company, 238th Aviation (Medevac), awarded the Purple Heart for service in Iraq during a missile attack.
4 – Heroism: a Pease airman administered lifesaving medical care to a boating crash victim, and a soldier helped rescue a North Country resident from a house fire.
3 – Federal Deployments: nearly 400 soldiers and airman were deployed around the globe.
2 – Fliers: aircrews engaged in 15 helicopter search and rescue operations and a record-breaking, 36-hour KC-46A refueling mission.
1 – Best in NH: The New Hampshire National Guard was voted by Business NH Magazine as one of the state’s best “companies” to work for.