Four 133rd AW Members selected as Minnesota Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2011
By Staff Sgt. Amber Monio, 133AW Public Affairs
/ Published January 26, 2011
St. Paul -- Four Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing were selected Dec. 21, 2010 to represent Minnesota as the state's Outstanding Airman of the Year.
Senior Master Sgt. David M. Gonsoski, 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron, was selected from the honor guard category, Master Sgt. John Kubes, 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, was selected from the senior noncommissioned officer category, Tech. Sgt. Jacob Norsten, 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, was selected from the noncommissioned officer category, and Senior Airman Kathryn Morrill, 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, was selected from the Airman category.
The OAY board met at Joint Force Headquarters in St. Paul, Minn. to choose the recipients of one the Air Force's highest personal ribbon decorations. Award winners were selected based on superior leadership, job performance, dedication to personal growth and base/community involvement.
The names of the four Airmen will be submitted to the National Guard Bureau for competition at the National level against Guardsmen from all states and territories.
Representing the base honor guard, Gonsoski, who is the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron's superintendent of power production, spends plenty of extra time with the honor guard duty. The honor guard recently passed the mark of participating beyond 250 ceremonies.
Lt. Col. Sandra Best, Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, spoke about Kubes' success within the unit, describing him as the type of person everyone in the small air terminal desires to deploy with due to his talent for mentorship.
"From a commander's perspective, he is such a go-to guy and an outstanding leader," said Best.
Several members from the small air terminal of LRS recently returned from a four-month deployment to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation New Dawn during which Kubes served as an immediate supervisor to Airmen like Staff Sgt. Casey Jaeger, joint inspector for the 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron.
"He's kind of like the ideal supervisor's supervisor," said Jaeger. "He can teach you how to be a supervisor and he really takes you under his wing."
Jaeger also worked alongside Norsten during his deployment and described him as a great worker with a wonderful attitude.
Crediting his work accomplishments to the people he works with at the 133rd LRS, Norsten said he wouldn't have the job knowledge, drive, and attention to detail that he has without them.
Similarly, Morrill said she considers herself blessed to work with the caliber of people in LRS.
"I belong to a phenomenal unit and I am so proud to represent not only the 133rd Airlift Wing, but our great state," said Morrill. "I come from an exceptional unit whose professionalism and knowledge of our career field is outstanding."
After her recent deployment with LRS Morrill said she was happy to be selected as an Outstanding Airman of the Year along with two other exceptional NCOs, Kubes and Norsten.
"I have been deployed with both of them and they are prime examples of what all NCOs should be," said Morrill. "I look forward not only to what happens at the national level of competition, but to what I can bring to my unit and the 133rd Airlift Wing in the future."