Here are some quick updates on association developments. Click or tap on a headline below for more details.
SAF/PA Director Brigadier General Pat Ryder has announced the winners of the 2020 Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Communication Excellence, including the winner of the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award, sponsored by the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. AFPAAA joins General Ryder in congratulating the winners of these prestigious awards.
A1C Rebeckah Medeiros from Kadena AB, Japan, was the "Best of the Best" in 2020. She was recognized as the outstanding enlisted, officer, or civilian member who best demonstrated professional excellence and contributed significantly to the effectiveness of the Department of the Air Force public affairs mission. In honor of her achievement, AFPAAA will present A1C Medeiros with the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award trophy, a $1,000 check, and a lifetime membership in the association.
Since her selection as "Best of the Best" was announced, she was promoted to Senior Airman and is now stationed at Moody AFB, Georgia. See the story from the July edition of News and Notes below to learn more about her many impressive accomplishments.
In addition to recognizing A1C Medeiros as the "Best of the Best", General Ryder announced the individual and team winners of the 2020 awards. Military winners of individual awards are eligible for the Air Force Recognition Ribbon, and civilians are eligible for the Air Force Recognition lapel pin.
Outstanding Communication Airman: A1C Rebeckah Medeiros, 18th Wing Public Affairs, Kadena AB, Japan.
Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication Noncommissioned Officer: TSgt Kristin High, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea.
Outstanding Communication Senior Noncommissioned Officer: MSgt Jeffrey Curtin, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Airman 1st Class Darryl G. Winters Award for Combat Communication: MSgt Gregory Brook, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
Capt. Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer: Capt Amanda Farr, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.
Outstanding Communication Field Grade Officer: Lt Col William Powell, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany.
Outstanding Communication Civilian Category I: Ms. Bridget Donovan, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Outstanding Communication Civilian Category II: Ms. Kelly Sanders, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany.
Outstanding Communication Civilian Category III: Ms. Katherine (Renee) Tyron, 1st Combat Camera Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
Brig Gen Harry J. Dalton, Jr. Award for the most effective unit-level communication program: 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany.
Maj Henry H. "Hap" Arnold Award for Public Affairs Communication Effectiveness: HQ U.S. Space Force Public Affairs, Peterson AFB, Colo.
Best Crisis Communication: 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.
Best Innovation: 90th Missile Wing, FE Warren AFB, Wyo.
Senior Airman Rebeckah T. Medeiros is quite unique. She went from a basic training enlistee in August 2018 to become the first Airman 1st Class to received the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award as the tops in Air Force Public Affairs in 2020.
Airman Medeiros earned the honor while she was a broadcast journalist for the 18th Wing Public Affairs office, Kadena Air Base, Japan.
But she did much more than that title says.
In her brief time with the 18th Wing she has been a teacher, an equipment manager, and a cost saver, as well a flight qualified videographer and photographer.
Included among the many accomplishments that earned her the Best of the Best award, Airman Medeiros strengthened bilateral relationships when she mentored Japanese university students in the first virtual language exchange at Kadena.
She taught 891 first term airmen in 42 classes about Air Force Social Media policy and the importance of not violating operations security.
In 20 AFSC merger broadcast training sessions she ensured that seven NCOs were fully mission qualified.
She revamped management of $1.5M in resources by identifying and fixing gaps to increase the unit’s ability to dominate the information battlespace.
Her work in overhauling the TV studio by realigning equipment and expanding strategic messaging options saved $30K.
The airman was responsible for a major Covid-19 communications effort that reached 72,000 personnel through 16 educational videos featuring experts, mitigation techniques, and wellness strategies.
Her documentation of the command’s bilateral Combat Search and Rescue mission capabilities reached 488 thousand people, and one of her images was an Airman Magazine’s photo of the week.
During 2020 she was named a Special Operations Command Pacific Superior Performer for her photo and video imagery that projected lethality and generated credible deterrence.
Presentation of the Best of the Best Award to Airman Medeiros was made on April 9th by Brigadier General Joel L. Carey, Commander of the 18th Wing at Kadena.
She has been reassigned since then and began her new assignment in May with the 23rd Wing Public Affairs Office at Moody AFB, Georgia.
With a father who spent 13 years in the Marine Corps and retired as an Army chief warrant officer after 13 years, plus a sister who spent four years in the Navy, it is not surprising that Airman Medeiros is in the military.
She was born in Apple Valley, California, and lived throughout the United States during her father’s career.
After graduating from James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, she attended the University of Alabama for a year then “decided it was finally time to join the military after thinking about it for years”.
Each year SAF/PA selects the individual who will receive AFPAAA’s Best of the Best Award which recognizes the top officer, civilian, or enlisted person in Air Force Public Affairs for professional excellence and significant contributions to the effectiveness of the Air Force mission.
Funding for the award is provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation. In addition to the trophy, each recipient receives a $1,000 check and a Life Membership in AFPAAA.
For information on all of the winners of the 2020 Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Communications Excellence, go here.
A service to celebrate the life of Brig General H. J. “Jerry” Dalton will be held Saturday, October 30th, at the Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson, Texas, beginning at 10:00 AM Central time. General Dalton was an active member at Canyon Creek for 40 years.
Further details, including whether the service will be live streamed, will be posted here as they become available.
See the story below about the passing of this PA legend.
Brigadier General H.J. "Jerry" Dalton passed away on Sunday, November 1st, 2020. He was 93.
General Dalton was the first career Public Affairs Officer to attain the rank of Brigadier General and become SAF/PA Director.
A San Antonio, Texas, native, he had a 30-year Air Force career that began as a distinguished military graduate of the AFROTC program at the University of Texas in Austin. In retirement he continued to excel, holding senior aerospace industry public relations positions. He was president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 1990 and the founding PRSA Foundation president in 1991.
In 1974, the Aviation/Space Writers Association named him the outstanding public information officer in the military, and in 2007 PRSA presented him its highest honor, the PRSA Gold Anvil Award, in recognition of his lifetime of service advancing the practice of public relations. In July 2019, SAF/PA and AFPAAA joined together to honor him when the SAF/PA conference room was named the “Brigadier General H.J. Dalton, Jr. Conference Room”.
The Chairman of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association, Jay DeFrank, issued the following statement on behalf of the association’s Board of Directors:
“Brigadier General Dalton was more than a legend in Air Force Public Affairs. He was an inspiration, a mentor, and an incredible leader respected and beloved by those of us lucky enough to work with him and know him. His enormous legacy lives on to this day, and will endure in how he structured and shaped Air Force Public Affairs to be a major positive force in helping the Air Force accomplish its mission in the challenging decades since he led our field. He will be warmly remembered for his immense knowledge and competence matched by his great good humor and how clearly he so deeply cared about those of us in our career field.
Our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences go out to the Dalton family during this very difficult time.”
Read General Dalton's Oral History here.
Read his Official Biography here.
Read his obituary in the Dallas Morning News here.
A leader, a mentor, and a friend for so many in the PA and AFPAAA family, Major General Mark Rosenker was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on April 21st.
Maj Gen Rosenker was an IMA to the director of SAF/PA, ran the White House Military Office for President George W. Bush, and served as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
AFPAAA representatives in attendance at the services included AFPAAA Board Chairman, Jay DeFrank, Lou Timmons, Marty Hauser, and Brig Gen (ret) Tim White. SAF/PA Director Brig Gen Pat Ryder, Brig Gen Robert Palmer, and Mr Jerry Renne - all AFPAAA members - represented SAF/PA.
For those who were unable to attend the Arlington services, a video recording of the services is available below.
You can read more about Maj Gen Rosenker's distinguished career on pages six and seven of the January 2021 issue of News and Notes here, and in his obituary in the Washington Post here. His official Air Force biography can be found here.
Memorial contributions in Maj Gen Rosenker’s name can be made to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, or to TAPS - The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
The Air Force Association and the family of John T. Correll held a virtual service on May 25th to celebrate and remember John's life, career, and airpower advocacy.
John joined Air Force Magazine after retiring from the Air Force and soon was promoted to become Editor in Chief. Over the next 18 years, he raised the profile and quality of the magazine, emphasizing its role in explaining and celebrating air and space power. He envisioned the think tank that eventually grew into the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Following retirement, he continued to be a contributor and trusted advisor for three successive editors who followed in his footsteps.
Air Force and AFA leaders, past and present, and some of John's colleagues and friends, came together to share their thoughts on the passing of a great mind—and one man's fierce dedication to national security.
You can view a recording of the service here.
To learn more about John's distinguished career go here.