AFMC Command News

AFMC Annual Excellence Awards winners light up the night

  • Published
  • By Brian Dietrick
  • Air Force Materiel Command

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Air Force Materiel Command held their Annual Excellence Awards April 17 to spotlight individuals whose outstanding contributions significantly impacted the command's mission in 2023.

Nominees in 18 separate categories, including both the Air Force and Space Force, competed from throughout AFMC's headquarters, centers, bases, wings, and Space Force installations.

Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC Commander, hosted the event at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

“I’m very thankful you’re on our team because we are living in a time of consequence and what we’re doing now really matters,” Richardson said. “Make everyday count and do the best work you can do for your nation. This is your time to make a difference.”

The 2023 AFMC winners are:

U.S. Air Force

AIRMAN OF THE YEAR: Senior Airman Maria Keehn

Keehn is a Mental Health Technician with the Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. She filled a supervisory role billeted for a technical sergeant. She guided 25 staff through more than 2,000 medical encounters and developed protocols that rectified 406 billing errors, recovering $7 million, and earning the squadron’s Airman of the Quarter award. Her quick thinking during a patient's cardiac arrest, directing emergency care, and facilitating immediate transfer to higher-level care earned her a Defense Health Agency Patient Safety Champion Award.

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Tech. Sgt. Kayla Huntley

Huntley is the Advanced Officer Course Director with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Huntley spearheaded the transformation of the Bioenvironmental Engineering Officer Course, leading a 10-person tiger team and integrating strategic input from 27 senior leaders, resulting in a 50% reduction in deployment qualification times. Additionally, she orchestrated 44 health evaluations and more than 1,800 health inspections.

SENIOR NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Master Sgt. Genevieve Villela

Villela is the Financial Operations Policy and Procedures Manager with the Air Force Installation Management Support Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. She led more than 150 joint personnel and sourced more than 27 security contracts, worth more than $9 million. She was selected to co-chair the Joint Special Operations Command’s Program Budget Advisory Committee where she helped secure $2 million for 213 joint missions.

FIRST SERGEANT OF THE YEAR – Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Galcik

Galcik is the First Sergeant and key advisor to the commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. She overseas 441 Airmen in nine different flights with 24 different job specialties. She earned the Air Force Achievement Medal for saving two lives by swiftly responding to suicide threats. Additionally, she has also coordinated care, identified treatment gaps, and drove initiatives tackling domestic violence and contractor deaths.

COMPANY GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Capt. Cody Mahen

Mahen is a Division Integration Officer for the Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. As a logistics subject matter expert and team lead, he managed four enterprise readiness programs in collaboration with six AFMC centers, supporting a $12 billion supply chain. He demonstrated his capability during a no-notice deployment, developing rapid transition plans for critical programs worth $1.1 billion, ensuring smooth operations and zero transaction delays.

FIELD GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Maj. Matthew Bogan

Bogan is the Future Operations Chief for the Air Force Installation Management Support Center, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. He led a 14-member team overseeing 467 military and civilian personnel across 10 wings and facilitated more than 40,000 sorties. He coordinated a $130 million recovery effort after a typhoon, guided Agile Combat Employment integration in a large-scale exercise involving four nations and 90 aircraft, and advanced contracting resources for Pacific deterrence initiatives.

CIVILIAN CATEGORY I OF THE YEAR: Crystal Petty

Petty is a Financial Technician for the Air Force Installation Management Support Center, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. She leads a team of 10 technicians and expedited the processing of 35,000 travel claim vouchers worth $28 million in just seven days, surpassing the Air Force's goal by eight days. Her expertise strengthened the team, increasing accuracy rates by 5%. Additionally, she rectified over 1,800 non-compliant vouchers, contributing to the Payment Integrity Information Act's success. She expedited $25 million in travel payments by resolving customer inquiries and providing comprehensive training for new hires.

CIVILIAN CATEGORY II OF THE YEAR - Alex Kessler

Kessler is a KC-10 Sustainment Chief for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Kessler oversees $3.1 billion in KC-10 logistic contracts with over 2.7 million parts across three wings. His team retired 19 aircraft ahead of schedule and was crucial in winning the Secretary of the Air Force’s 2023 Dr. James G. Roche Program Office of the Year. Additionally, he reduced aircraft repair costs by over $14 million and has the top supply rate across large Air Force fleets.

CIVILIAN CATEGORY III OF THE YEAR – Nelson Rollins

Rollins is the Capability Delivery Manager for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He implemented 493 Air Force-directed updates, rectified 228 deficiencies, and enhanced efficiency. He manages $124 million of assets and earned the 2023 Acquisition Management Outstanding Program Office Team Award. Additionally, he facilitated 12 software releases, incorporating 600 system improvements and introducing an Enterprise Metrics dashboard, saving 14,000 man-hours annually.

U.S. Space Force

AIRMAN OF THE YEAR – Senior Airman Mariah Hayden

Hayden is an Emergency Management Operations Journeyman for the 21st Civil Engineering Squadron, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. Her achievements include earning a Below-the-Zone promotion, leading as noncommissioned officer in charge for five months, and spearheading a three-base hazardous materials mitigation program safeguarding $67 billion in assets. Hayden's leadership garnered recognition as U.S. Space Force Emergency Manager of the Year.

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Tech. Sgt. John C. Moore

Moore is the NCO in charge of Financial Operations for the 460th Comptroller Squadron, Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado. Moore led six team members and guided seven squadrons and 25 units through financial challenges, including $9.6 million in budget management and correcting a $600,000 double-billing error. Moore directed a $15 million government purchase card program and secured over $183,000 in rebates. He supported nearly 17,000 joint personnel, delivering essential training and resolving complex pay issues.

SENIOR NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Master Sgt. Jessica McGadney

McGadney is the Manpower and Personnel Senior Enlisted Advisor for Space Systems Command, Los Angeles Space Force Base, California. Her leadership as key advisor for manpower and personnel shaped Military Personnel policy in the Space Force’s largest Human Capital Division. Leading 71 members across nine sections and managing 113 critical human resource programs, her efforts supported more than 15,000 personnel across six bases and 29 geographically separated units, vital for the command’s $15 billion space acquisition portfolio.

FIRST SERGEANT OF THE YEAR – Senior Master Sgt. Reuben McClendon

McClendon is the First Sergeant for Space Operations Command, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. McClendon prioritizes the well-being of more than 11,000 personnel and families while ensuring the global delivery of critical combat capabilities. Leading an innovation project, McClendon optimized vehicle maintenance processes, increasing parts on hand by 200%. Additionally, he facilitated vital support to the Ukrainian war effort, orchestrating the movement of $10 million in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment to counter Russian disinformation.

COMPANY GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Capt. Andrew C. McCoy

McCoy is the Operations Officer for the 50th Security Forces Squadron, Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado. McCoy simultaneously served as Operations Officer and acting commander for six months. Leading 205 Defenders, McCoy averted an active shooter event and protected over 8,000 personnel. Additionally, he led a team of 24 Airmen across three bases to facilitate the first F-35 deployment to the Arctic Circle for ballistic missile testing.

FIELD GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR – Maj. Daniel Sloss

Sloss is the Operations Officer for the 45th Force Support Squadron, Space Systems Command, Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Serving as squadron commander during Hurricane Idalia, he orchestrated the rapid bed-down of 160 Headquarters, Central Command personnel at Patrick Space Force Base, ensuring operational continuity within six hours. Sloss' efforts established a benchmark response plan and secured $216,000 in installation education center upgrades. Additionally, his efforts delivered more than 250 base events while maintaining a $17 million morale, welfare, and recreation fund.

CIVILIAN CATEGORY I OF THE YEAR – Maria Santiago Vazquez

Vazquez is the Unit Program Coordinator for the 21st Security Forces Squadron, Space Operations Command, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. She devised an innovative tracker for the leave program, reducing use-or-lose from 40% to 0 while maintaining 100% base defense uptime, safeguarding more than 18,000 members and $74 billion in assets. She also streamlined the unit award program, halving decoration processing time to 45 days and fostering a culture of recognition.

CIVILIAN CATEGORY II OF THE YEAR - Carmen Yalung

Yalung is a Clinical Nurse for the 21st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, Space Operations Command, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. She was a top performer in the largest Space Force medical clinic, supporting thousands with her expertise. For her contributions, she earned the Clinical Nurse of the Year Award. She optimized acute care access, significantly increasing patient visits and appointment availability, contributing to Peterson Space Force Base's winning the 2023 Commander in Chief Installation Excellence Award.

CIVILIAN CATEGORY III OF THE YEAR – Pamela Jordan

Jordan is the Child and Youth Services Chief for the 45th Force Support Squadron, Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Her leadership earned her team the Space Systems Command’s Child and Youth Flight of the Year Award. She oversees 84 personnel who provide two million hours of childcare. Recognized by the Department of the Air Force as the best audit agency, Jordan ensured 100% compliance, enhancing the safety and security of 320 children.

Winners in the four enlisted categories will represent AFMC in the Department of the Air Force Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year and First Sergeant of the Year competitions held later this year.