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Airmen earn top awards from Guard Bureau

The Kentucky Air National Guard’s Master Sgt. Cynthia Rogers and Tech. Sgt. Anthony Walker have been recognized by the National Guard Bureau for outstanding recruiting and retention performance. Sergeant Rogers was named Air National Guard Retention Office Manager of the Year for Region 4, a geographic area that includes nine states and the District of Columbia, while Sergeant Walker was named ANG Production Recruiter of the Year for Region 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The Kentucky Air National Guard’s Master Sgt. Cynthia Rogers and Tech. Sgt. Anthony Walker have been recognized by the National Guard Bureau for outstanding recruiting and retention performance. Sergeant Rogers was named Air National Guard Retention Office Manager of the Year for Region 4, a geographic area that includes nine states and the District of Columbia, while Sergeant Walker was named ANG Production Recruiter of the Year for Region 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Two members of the Kentucky Air Guard have been recognized by the National Guard Bureau for their outstanding job performance.

Master Sgt. Cynthia Rogers was named Air National Guard Retention Office Manager of the Year for Region 4, a geographic area that includes nine states and the District of Columbia, while Tech. Sgt. Anthony Walker was named ANG Production Recruiter of the Year for Region 4.

"Both of these individuals are exceptional Airmen who perform their crucial duties with dedication and excellence, day-in and day-out," said Senior Master Sgt. Scott Crimm, recruiting and retention superintendent for the Kentucky Air Guard.

"Their outstanding commitment is one of the reasons why the Kentucky Air Guard consistently meets its recruiting and retention goals, keeping the unit strong and well-positioned to answer a wide range of mission needs all around the world."

Sergeant Walker earned his honor with a long list of accomplishments, including targeted recruiting efforts designed to fill chronically understaffed positions in the special operations career field. During fiscal year 2010, those efforts resulted in a 100 percent staffing rate for pararescue and support positions, and a 90 percent staffing rate for combat control positions.

Sergeant Walker also led the organization in overall recruits, enlisting 29 Airmen in the Kentucky Air National Guard during fiscal year 2010 to boost unit-wide staffing levels to 103 percent of the authorized troop count.

Lt. Col. Kathryn Pfeifer, commander of the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Force Support Squadron, called Sergeant Walker a "truly outstanding recruiter who continually focuses his recruiting efforts, enabling us to find candidates to fill specific needs."

"He has an exceptional way of interacting with candidates, cementing their interest in the Kentucky Air National Guard while engaging with unit commanders about their vacancy needs," she added.

A strong supporter of diversity, Sergeant Walker worked with human resources during fiscal year 2010 to develop recruiting strategies intended to attract a broader range of young men and women to the unit.

"He's continually working on plans and strategies to bring new Airmen into the Kentucky Air Guard," Sergeant Crimm said. "He also gives back to the community by donating off-duty time to a local youth ministry and to a mentorship program."

Sergeant Rogers earned her award with an equally long list of accomplishments, including a 94 percent reenlistment rate for fiscal year 2010. During those 12 months, only six Airmen elected not to re-enlist in the Kentucky Air Guard.

Sergeant Rogers also is a Post 9-11 Montgomery G.I. Bill guru, Sergeant Crimm said.

"She is recognized within the Air Guard recruiting and retention community as a expert on those benefits, and she briefed the entire Kentucky Air Guard on the program to ensure maximum awareness," he said.

"Sergeant Rogers always has the best interests of our Airmen in mind," Colonel Pfeifer said. "She goes above and beyond to ensure unit members get the information they need on items such as the Yellow Ribbon Integration Program, tuition assistance, the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill or re-enlistment bonuses. She is a fair and honest individual who clearly outlines the benefits and programs available to our members, and who also keeps commanders informed on how they can further assist in areas where their Airmen are concerned."

In her off-duty time, Sergeant Rogers serves the local homeless population by volunteering at Louisville's Christian Wayside Mission complex. She also champions diversity recruiting efforts by attending minority events in the community.