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News | Dec. 14, 2023

All about the people

By Master Sgt. Charles Johnston

The New Hampshire National Guard held its 387th birthday celebration and annual awards ceremony Dec. 13 at the Edward Cross Training Complex in Pembroke.

The youngest and oldest guardsmen in attendance, Airman 1st Class Keegan Werner of the 157th Air Refueling Wing and Col. James Kelly of Joint Force Headquarters, joined NH Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities for a traditional cake cutting.

“When you look back at the year in review, it is truly amazing what a small state can do,” Mikolaities said. “And it’s all about the people. It’s about all of you.”

The NHNG recognized top military and civilian performers for 2023.

For the NH Army Guard:

Soldier of the Year: Spc. Brendan Tuttle
Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Davis Jollimore
Recruiting Rookie of the Year: Staff Sgt. Isabella Igoe
Recruiting Expert of the Year: Sgt. 1st Class Robin Rojek
Production Recruiter of the Year: Staff Sgt. Steven Pierce
TAG Match Grand Champion: Capt. Robert Matzelle
TAG Match Novice Champion: Pfc. Eddy Louis
Top Army Combat Fitness Test Score (Female): Spc. Nicole Skare
Top Army Combat Fitness Test Score (Male): Capt. Matzelle
Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Jennifer Dumark

For the NH Air Guard:

Airman of the Year: Airman 1st Class Abby Stroup
Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Victoria Nelson
Senior NCO of the Year: Master Sgt. Joh Fiorentino
First Sergeant of the Year: Master Sgt. Lauren Diogo
Company Grade Officer of the Year: 1st Lt. Jason Churches
Spirit of Hope Award: Staff Sgt. Nathan Willard
Honor Guard Member of the Year: Senior Airman Andrew Aquino
Title 5 Employee of the Year: Steven Cusack

For State Employees:

Anti-Terrorism Program Manager of the Year: David Beecher
Real Property Specialist of the Year: Robert Mora
Building Grounds Utility of the Year: Lea Souther
Accountant of the Year: Nancy Gauthier
Directorate of Information Management of the Year: Erin Zayac
Human Resources Technician of the Year: Cheri Fitzgerald
Grants Program Coordinator of the Year: Heather Smith

In the spirit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Mikolaities highlighted the top 12 organizational achievements of the year, beginning with the new athletic field at the Edward Cross Training Complex and ending with Army and Air deployments in support of combat operations in the Middle East and at the southern border.