Ceremonial guardsman recognized
By Airman 1st Class Jessica Williams, 14th Flying Training Wing
/ Published December 15, 2020
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- It is tradition for senior leadership to present airmen with a coin for exceptionally demonstrating the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.
One Airman in particular was recently awarded a coin by Chief Master Sgt. Trevor James, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, for going above and beyond what was expected of him.
When asked how coining airmen made him feel, James replied with a smile.
“Oh, it’s awesome,” said James. “Usually they are so flabbergasted that somebody took the time in order to point them out.”
Airman 1st Class Robert Duffy, lead ceremonial guardsman for the Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi Honor Guard, was recognized by his leadership for his hard work and dedication to not only the Honor Guard, but also to the base as a whole.
Due to the pandemic, many installations stopped or reduced the number of ceremonies being provided.
That is not the case for Columbus AFB.
Columbus AFB Honor Guard’s congressionally-mandated mission is to provide military funeral honors for the United States’ fallen service members. The area of responsibility included 74 counties in Mississippi and Tennessee.
Since joining Honor Guard a year and a half ago, Duffy has led 374 Military Funeral Honors and trained 54 ceremonial guardsmen and Veterans of Foreign Wars personnel.
When asked how it felt to provide the service to military families, Duffy said it is one of the jobs where you see the impact quickly and the career is very rewarding.
Aside from leading ceremonies, Duffy also lead the refurbishment of 17 M-14 rifles, saving the Air Force $3,000 in new purchases.
“It feels really good to be recognized,” said Duffy. “I didn’t do it for any type of recognition. I just happened to be here and knew what needed to be done.”
The Honor Guard also supports many community and base events such as change of commands, retirement ceremonies, community parades and formal events.
Coining is a great tool used to remind Airmen that every member, no matter the rank, has an impact on the mission.
“What I would love to get out of coining airmen is for them to realize what they do matters,” said James “And the fact that they are hauling the mail and taking care of the nation’s business is important.”