Aircrew life support officer earns prestigious 22nd Air Force award

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. - Maj. Gen. Martin Mazick, commander of 22nd Air Force (left), presents Capt. Anthony Wilmot of the 914th Airlift Wing with the 22 AF Outstanding Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer award for 2008.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kevin Nichols)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. - Maj. Gen. Martin Mazick, commander of 22nd Air Force (left), presents Capt. Anthony Wilmot of the 914th Airlift Wing with the 22 AF Outstanding Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer award for 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kevin Nichols)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- A 914th Airlift Wing reservist earned the Outstanding Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer of the Year Award 2008 for 22nd Air Force.

Capt. Anthony Wilmot is the first officer stationed at Niagara Falls to earn this prominent award in recent memory.

914th aircrew flight equipment superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Steve Patterson was very pleased when he received the news that Capt. Wilmot earned the award.

"Hearing that Capt. Wilmot won the award was fantastic and is well deserved," said Patterson. "I was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude. Capt. Wilmot has been an inspiration to all aircrew flight equipment officers," he added.

To earn this award, there is board of five officers who review each award package submission and award a point score for each. Each unit has an aircrew flight equipment shop and they are all in the running for the award. The candidates are graded on leadership, special accomplishments, significant challenges that were achieved or exceeded.

"[Niagara's aircrew flight equipment shop] had to come up with special solutions for problems never faced by any other unit; for example the association," said Wilmot.

The aircrew flight equipment shops of both the 914th Airlift Wing and 107th Airlift Wing are big players in the association between Niagara's Guard and Reserve units. There have been some minor setbacks in associating the two units together, however Patterson remains very optimistic of reaching Team Niagara's goal and motto of "One Team, One Fight!" with officers such as Capt. Wilmot leading the way.

"His leadership has brought tremendous strides into us becoming one of the best shops in Air Force Reserve Command and possibly Air Mobility Command," said Patterson. "I'm very confident that we will only become stronger and constantly improve our ability to support our aircrew through these difficult times with special challenges to overcome each and every day. We are doing just that with this association with our guard brethren and the special challenges that my shop faces. I look forward to the days and months ahead that not only will we overcome these challenges, but will set the bar for all aircrew flight equipment shops."

It is not only Wilmot's leadership skills in the shop which have helped facilitate the association between Guard and Reserve and make him stand out as an officer, it's his mentality which also motivates the 914th aircrew flight equipment shop to go above and beyond and to be the best of the best.

"Capt. Wilmot has one of the most positive attitudes I've come across," said Patterson. He truly has been an inspiration. He is upbeat, a positive role model and encourages the very best from all Airmen alike.

Capt. Wilmot's positive attitude can be reflected in the advice he has for younger officers and Airmen.

"Don't sweat the little stuff," he said. "Take the big picture and find your place in it. Set backs are a part of the job; accept that and keep moving forward."