Kentucky Air Guard honors First Sergeant of the Year
By Master Sgt. Philip Speck, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
/ Published October 12, 2012
KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Master Sgt. Collin King has been selected as the Kentucky Air National Guard's 2012 First Sergeant of the Year.
A traditional Guardsman who serves one weekend a month and at least two weeks of active duty per year, King balances his military obligations with a high-tempo career as a detective in the Louisville Metro Police Department. He's currently a Task Force Officer working in concert with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
At the Air Guard, King serves as first sergeant for the 165th Airlift Squadron and Headquarters, 123rd Airlift Wing. He is responsible for the morale, welfare and conduct of his fellow enlisted members and advises the commander about enlisted-force issues.
It's a job for which he is imminently suited, according to his supervisor, Lt. Col. Shawn Dawley.
"Master Sgt. King is a model traditional guardsman and senior NCO who epitomizes the Air Force Core Values of service, integrity and excellence," said Dawley, commander of the 165th Airlift Squadron.
"He's an invaluable friend whose motto is 'You command, I'll advise.' His willingness to take on tough issues, whether they be personnel-related or administrative -- and without being asked -- is probably the greatest service he provides the unit. Often, he'll come into the office to tell me, 'This was the problem, these were suitable alternatives, this is what I chose, this is what happened; problem solved. Questions?' "
King joined the Kentucky Air Guard in 1999 as a Security Forces troop and deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in 2003. He later served as Squad Leader in the 123rd Contingency Response Group before being named first sergeant in 2008.
King was selected for 2012 First Sergeant of the Year because of his exceptional performance from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011. During that time, he was elected chairman of the 123rd Airlift Wing First Sergeants' Council, created an enlisted mentoring program and conducted "town hall" meetings for the family members of Kentucky Air Guardsmen who were deployed overseas. He also coordinated the repair of maintenance issues at the homes of those family members and facilitated referrals to local assistance agencies as needed.
Following an appearance on the A&E Network Television series "First 48" that detailed his skill in solving a high-profile murder, King was chosen by wing staff to conduct interview training for investigators assigned to the base Flight Safety Board. He also leveraged his experience as a police officer by sharing with other Airmen what he learned about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following his involvement in a duty-related fatal shooting. This directly assisted several unit members during a Wingman Day event focused on building resilience, officials noted.
"He was built for this job," Dawley said of King. "Strong, humble, passionate, tough and caring."
King will be honored May 19 during the Kentucky National Guard's Outstanding Soldier and Airman of the Year Banquet, to be held in Louisville.