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AETC officials announce 2016 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Air Education and Training Command senior leaders recognized nine Airmen selected as the command’s 2016 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, June 16.

The award distinguishes AETC’s enlisted Airmen for their leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.

“These Airmen are an exceptional representation of the 60,000 Airmen that make up AETC today,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC commander, said. “The winners are AETC’s finest and each one plays a role in our mission to recruit, train and educate.”

AETC Command Chief Master Sgt. David Staton also praised the winners for their accomplishments.

“It still astounds me that an Airman can do so much in a short time period,” Staton said. “These nine Airmen are deserving of the honors bestowed upon them as the best of AETC.”

The 2016 AETC Outstanding Airmen of the Year are:

Airman of the Year: Staff Sgt. Cody Sparks, 47th Communications Squadron, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas

NCO of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Cassandra Cruz, 81st Force Support Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi

Senior NCO of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Arce, 14th Operations Support Squadron, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi

First Sergeant of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Jason Dahlquist, 326th Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

Honor Guard Member of the Year: Senior Airman Jan Diaz Garcia, 56th Maintenance Group, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona

Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year: Staff Sgt. Richard Bates, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas

Military Training Instructor of the Year: Master Sgt. Raul Hernandez Jr., 326th Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

Military Training Leader of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Kyle Mullen, Technical Training Operations Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi

Recruiter of the Year: Master Sgt. Eric Hart, 344th Recruiting Squadron, Waco, Texas