Smail shines as the COANG Airman of the Year... and ANG Airman of the year!

  • Published
  • By Capt Benjamin Garland
  • 140th Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Jonathan R. Smail, transmission technician from the 233d Space Communications Squadron, won the 2014 Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year for the Colorado Air National Guard.

"Being recognized as the Colorado Air National Guard Airman of the Year is very exciting," Smail said. "I felt extremely blessed that my senior leadership recognized the value in me. It's truly a testament to the mentorship and deliberate development that I've received," said Smail.

As a transmission technician, Smail operates, troubleshoots and maintains satellite communications electronic equipment.  This equipment supports a mobile mission that tracks nuclear and missile launches around the globe, Smail explained.

Airman Smail contributes receiving this award to his dad. "My father has worked in a coal mine for the last 15 years.  He always taught me to give my best effort no matter whom I was working for and what the task was," he said. "I try to apply this advice to every facet of my life, not just the military.  I was lucky enough to be recognized for my effort by the 233d Space Group in Greeley." 

As an award winner Smail encourages other Airmen who wish to win the award to, "Make time to seek advice from peers and leadership in your organization. Seek out the folks who have conquered the personal and career goals that you desire and spend time learning from them.   Internalize the advice that your receive from others.  Strive to become a well-rounded Airman, not just proficient in your career field.  Get involved in the community or an organization on your base.  Look for deficiencies in your work center or on base and collaborate with your chain of command to create a program to solve the deficiency," said Smail.

Even with all his success, Airman Smail remains humble, constantly giving credit to his leadership and co-workers. "I know that this award recognizes a single person, but my coworkers are the ones who made this possible. Without their guidance and support, I would not have been able to accomplish what I did in 2014.  We have some incredible leaders in the 180 Shop who have mentored me along the way.  I can point out significant contributions that each member has made on my life.  Many wouldn't even be aware that their words of wisdom and guidance were significant, but they made an impact on my life," said Smail.

Lt. Col. Adam E. Rogge, commander of the 233d Space Communications Squadron said, "Senior Airman Smail is a true team player, an exemplary Airman, and a patriot.  He makes me proud to serve and his presence lifts the performance of everyone around him.  I'm thrilled to see such talent so early in his career and I'm comforted to know there are Airmen out there of his high caliber shaping our Air National Guard for the future."

**UPDATE: Since this story was published, SrA Smail has also been recognized as the Air National Guard Airman of the year for 2015. Stay tuned for more information. Congratulations SrA Smail!**