Kentucky Air Guard recognizes top first sergeant, Honor Guard member of the year

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  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Kentucky Air National Guard honored its top first sergeant and Honor Guard Member of 2014 during a banquet held here Saturday night at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.

Master Sgt. Gregory S. Mattingly of the 123rd Mission Support Group was recognized as the 2014 First Sergeant of the Year, while Master Sgt. Eric L. Hamilton was named Base Honor Guard Member of the Year.

Both Airmen are exceptional leaders who inspire others, according to their supervisors.

Mattingly provides guidance for 85 enlisted Airmen assigned to the 123rd Mission Support Group, the most diverse organization on base. An innovator who looks to inspire, he created the MSG "Diamond Sharp" coin to recognize Airmen who go above and beyond the call.

Mattingly also leads by example, serving as a motivating force during unit fitness tests, according to his commander, Lt. Col. Matt Stone.

Furthermore, the senior non-commissioned officer places a strong emphasis on morale and family readiness. He developed a Family Care Tracking Program for base first sergeants to ensure family members receive proper support, especially when their Airmen are deployed overseas. He personally contacted more than 50 deployed MSG Airmen to offer a broad range of support during their recent mobilizations.

Hamilton, a management specialist in the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, participated in 157 Honor Guard and Color Guard events over the previous year, surpassing the team average of 34 events by a substantial margin, according to his commander, Lt. Col. Kevin Thornberry.

He was chosen by peers and leadership to serve as Base Honor Guard non-commissioned officer in charge, motivating a dedicated team to complete 259 total details in 2013. Hamilton's commitment to the program is reflected in his desire to pursue all training opportunities. He currently is certified by the Air Force as an Honor Guard Trainer and subject matter expert who conducts training for all new and existing Honor Guard members to ensure consistency and adherence to protocol.

"As NCOIC of the Base Honor Guard Team, Sergeant Hamilton is a great mentor," Thornberry said. "He's constantly providing training and guidance to increase the team's overall effectiveness and professionalism, which is on display all the time in the public community."