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Joint Base San Antonio selects 2014 Miiltary Ambassadors
The 2014 Joint Base San Antonio Army ambassadors are Sgt. Doreen Suerte Fajota, Company C, Brooke Army Medical Center; Sgt. 1st. Class John Gurisko, Army South G-3 Exercises Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Branch. (Courtesy photo by Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland public affairs)
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Joint Base San Antonio selects 2014 Military Ambassadors

Posted 1/16/2014   Updated 1/16/2014 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

1/16/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Ten service members from across the three Joint Base San Antonio locations were chosen to represent their respective military services as part of the 2014 Military Ambassadors program.

"Military ambassadors are representatives of the military community," Bill Gaines, 502nd Air Base Wing civic outreach chief, said. "The program strengthens military relationships with the local community while educating the public about the armed services and their missions. They are chosen for their communication skills, demonstrated self-confidence and outgoing personalities. In short, they promote an outstanding image of JBSA and their service organizations."

Throughout the year, the 10 service members represent their service and JBSA at events throughout South Texas, including nearly 50 activities associated with Fiesta San Antonio April 10-27.

According to Gaines, Fiesta, which began in 1891, is one of the nation's premier festivals, with an economic impact of more than $284 million for the Alamo City.

Taking part in the event not only allows the military ambassadors to play integral roles for the installation's community relations program, but it permits the continuation of a tradition that goes back to 1891 when the granddaddy of Fiesta events, The Battle of Flowers, began, Gaines said.

"During the event, the Army provided its band to lead the first parade in horse-drawn carriages and supplied a number of carriages for others participating in the parade," Gaines said. "In the 1960s, both the Fiesta San Antonio Commission and local military commanders decided there should be a single point of contact - a military coordinator."

This year's military coordinator is Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander.

Although the program is aimed primarily at Fiesta, the ambassadors are traditionally invited to parades, federal holiday ceremonies, pageants, hospital visits, and other significant events.

The ambassadors' first event is Feb. 14, for the National Salute to Veterans Day at the Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital.

"Being named an ambassador for my service is an honor and a privilege," Tech. Sgt. Daniel Anderson, 323rd Training Squadron military training instructor and an Air Force military ambassador, said. "As ambassador I want to reinforce public trust in the military services. I can't wait to get started."

2014 Army military ambassadors

Sergeant Doreen Suerte Fajota, who hails from Bacolod City, Phillipines, is assigned to Charlie Company, Brooke Army Medical Center as the NCO in charge of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Fajota's job is to oversee the day-to-day operations of all clinical services, assist in clinical procedures for approximately 31,200 patients annually, manage placement, accountability, readiness, training and administrative actions for 168 military and civilian staff members.

Sgt. 1st. Class John Gurisko, who hails from River Rouge, Mich., is assigned to the Army South G-3 Exercises Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Branch as the NCO in charge. Gurisko is responsible for support to the HCA Branch by planning for two operational planning teams, tracking training requirements, accountability and performance within the section, and supporting the branch chief in day-to-day functions of the branch as needed.

2014 Marine Corps military ambassadors

Sgt. Dawn Callaway, who hails from Princeton, Texas, is assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion as a financial manager. Callaway is responsible for performing accounting, budgeting and all other financial management relevant duties for appropriated funds in support of the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. She also provides leadership guidance, supervision and counseling to junior Marines and financial guidance to outlying companies within the battalion.

Sgt. Dustin Johnson, whose hometown is Brodhead, Wis., is assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion as a battalion dive and amphibious chief. Johnson plans and executes dives and amphibious operations and also maintains the equipment relevant to those operations.

2014 Navy military ambassadors

Petty Officer 2nd Class Luz Vazquez, who hails from Lamont, Calif., is a Navy enlisted recruiter. Vazquez is responsible for the enlistment of officers and enlisted members for active service in the regular and reserve Navy components.

Petty Officer 1st. Class Joseph Fountain Jr., who hails from Callahan, Fla., is the mission NCO in charge. Fountain provides daily leadership and administration oversight for about 30 members who support the national mission.

2014 Air Force military ambassadors

Staff Sgt. Kathryn North, who hails from Greenfield, Ind., is assigned to the 382nd Training Squadron Diagnostic Imaging Section as an instructor. North provides instruction on theory of basic electricity, atomic theory, production of X-rays, radiographic technique, radiographic film and chemical processing, radiographically oriented anatomy and physiology, theory of and practice in operation of fixed and mobile radiologic equipment, routine and special radiographic positioning, theory of and practice in accomplishment of, special radiographic techniques and introduction to special radiographic procedures and the associated equipment. As an instructor, she also continues the professional development of 121 Air Force trainees.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Anderson, who hails from Belmont, N.H., is assigned to the 383rd Training Squadron as a military training instructor, where he conducts basic military training and shifts civilians into the Air Force way of life. Anderson is also responsible for training newly assigned military training instructors who have completed the Military Training Instructor School.

2014 Coast Guard military ambassadors

Chief Petty Officer Wanda Tarasiuk, who hails from Fajardo, Puerto Rico, is assigned to Coast Guard Cryptologic Unit in Texas. Tarasiuk analyzes and reports highly technical information of strategic and tactical importance to fleet commanders and national intelligence agencies while deployed on board Coast Guard vessels.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jim Chance is a San Antonio native and production recruiter for the Recruiting Office San Antonio. Chance's main duties as production recruiter consist of processing applicants for accessions into the Coast Guard, marketing the Coast Guard to potential recruits and the public, representing the Coast Guard in various military ceremonies and conducting military funeral honors.

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