Hall, Motamedi, Wilding selected as Kentucky Air Guard’s Airmen of the Year

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Vicky Spesard
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Ethan Hall, Staff. Sgt. Yuri Motamedi and Master Sgt. Charles Wilding will be honored as the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 2023 Airmen of the Year during the Airman’s Gala to be held here Feb. 10.

“This year’s honorees are not only the best of the best within the Wing, but they are some of the brightest talents within the Air Force,” said Chief Master Sergeant Steven D. Best, command chief master sergeant of the 123rd Airlift Wing. “We are extremely grateful to them for being passionate about their roles within the Air National Guard and within their communities.

“Over the past year, these individuals were presented with unique opportunities in which they were able to highlight their skills,” he continued. “Those opportunities, coupled with their individual accomplishments, are what made them stand out amongst their peers.”

Hall, representing the Airman category, is a journeyman crew chief for the 123rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. In 2023, he deployed to Europe in support of Air Defender ’23 and Fort Huachuca, Arizona, for Advanced Airlift Tactics training; volunteered as a member of a maintenance recovery team; and oversaw the successful mission-essential skills training for three new Airmen.

In his spare time, Hall volunteered to staff multiple community service projects through his local church, including a soup kitchen and homeless shelter. He also participated in a fundraiser for eastern Kentucky flood relief and raised more than $400 that provided direct aid to 10 families affected by the disaster.

“We are thrilled that Airman Hall has been named Airman of the Year, a well-deserved recognition for his outstanding dedication and contributions to our Air Force community,” said Lt. Col. James Campbell, outgoing commander of the 123rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

“He has consistently demonstrated exceptional professionalism, leadership and commitment to excellence not only throughout the year, but since day one of his enlistment. His unwavering dedication to the mission, coupled with a strong sense of integrity, sets a remarkable example for his peers and inspires the entire squadron.”

Motamedi, representing the Non-Commissioned Officer category, is a security forces craftsman assigned to the 123rd Contingency Response Group. In 2023, he deployed in support of Air Defender ’23, Mobility Guardian ’23 and Cope North ’23. During these missions, Motamedi performed fuel operations, airfield operations and surveys, as well as providing small-team tactics training to New Zealand security forces and serving as an instructor for an arctic survival training course.

While performing standard mission duties in New Zealand, Motamedi was among a group of Airmen that responded to an overturned military vehicle with multiple casualties. Upon arrival, he immediately and continuously provided trauma care for an injured member and continued that care through transport to the airfield until the member was loaded for airlift to a treatment facility.

Motamedi is the owner of a construction company that sponsors youth softball team in Columbus, Indiana, where he also volunteers in city improvement initiatives.

“Staff Sgt. Motamedi is a stand-out contingency response Airman who epitomizes service before self and what being a multi-capable Airman looks like,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Krauss, commander of the 123rd Contingency Response Support Squadron. “You can always count on him being the first to volunteer and to jump in to help on any work that needs to be done anywhere within the CRG. He embodies contingency response.”

Wilding, representing the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer category, is an air transportation craftsman assigned to the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron. In 2023, he deployed in support of Air Defender ’23 and the William Tell Air-to-Air Weapons Meet.

He also provided logistical support for four Special Operations Forces Support Activity events, conducted comprehensive inspections during a rapid deployment mobility exercise with the United States Transportation Command, and led a cross-functional team of six personnel in response to a quick-turn request to support the nation’s largest airshow in Idaho.

Wilding coordinated last year’s Airmen of the Year event and raised approximately $25,000 for the Bluegrass Airmen’s Foundation, a non-profit agency that benefits members of the Kentucky Air National Guard.

“Master Sgt. Wilding’s body of work speaks for itself,” said Capt. Matthew Hourigan, the LRS officer-in-charge. “He inspires everyone around him to improve, and I have all confidence he will spend the rest of his career demonstrating the values of a servant-leader that earned him this prestigious award.”

All three Airmen will be honored for their accomplishments Feb. 10 during the Airman’s Gala, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. Tickets are available through Feb. 5 at https://one.bidpal.net/2024kyang/welcome.