Outstanding Airmen Recognized Published Feb. 17, 2022 By 2nd Lt Peyton Craven 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Team Columbus celebrated its superior performers at the first 14th Flying Training Wing combined Annual Awards and Dining Out ceremony Feb. 12, 2022. The ceremony included the entertainment elements of a Dining Out such as “grog” bowls and the traditional “Rules of the Mess”. Keynote speaker, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Manny Piñeiro, former First Sergeant Special Duty Manager for the Air Force, spoke on the importance of leading Airmen. ”If you’re going to lead Airmen, lead with passion. The obstacles that are out there, we will confront together” said Piñeiro. Piñeiro served in the United States Air Force for 32 years, and was responsible for establishing guidance, policy, and management of more than 2,700 Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve first sergeants. Piñeiro also served as the primary advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and the First Sergeant Academy. Piñeiro shared a piece of advice to the attendees in his closing remarks. “Folks, all I ask, is that you take a little bit of what you’ve got here tonight and apply it to your team” Piñeiro said. Formal award ceremonies have long been used in the Air Force to recognize the hard work and dedication that Airmen demonstrate to achieve mission success. This year the planning team incorporated an atmosphere of levity with the inclusion of traditional Dining Out activities. The 14th Flying Training Wing produced more pilots than any other pilot training wing in Air Education and Training Command and more pilots in 2021 than any year since 1985. This achievement led to the 14th Flying Training Wing receiving the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Accomplishments such as these are achievable only through the hard work and dedication provided by Airmen like those recognized during the awards ceremony. Wing level award winners will continue on to compete at the Nineteenth Air Force level. Chief Master Sergeant Antonio Cooper, Command Chief of the 14th Flying Training Wing, spoke on the importance of events such as the Annual Awards Dining Out. “The intent was to bring everyone together and celebrate the accomplishments of our wingmen. I wanted this to be fun and different; I think we succeeded with that,” said Cooper. The 2021 Annual Award Winners are: Airman of the Year: SSgt Jose Guillen, 14th Operations Support Squadron Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: TSgt Aaron Wanzer, 14th Comptroller Squadron Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: MSgt Stephanie Tognotti, 14th Student Squadron First-Sergeant of the Year: MSgt Tiona Jones, 14th Mission Support Group Volunteer of the Year: TSgt Sean Weygandt, 14th FTW Maintenance Authority Quality Honor Guardsman of the Year: SrA Aubrey Anderson, 14th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt Elijah Nicholson, 14th Contracting Squadron Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj Katherine Murphy, 14th Healthcare Operations Squadron Instructor Pilot of the Year: Capt Matthew Bliley, 49th Flying Training Squadron First Assignment Instructor Pilot of the Year: 1st Lt Blaine Wycoff, 14th Operations Support Squadron Civilian CAT I (Non-supervisory) of the Year: GS-06 Wendy Pennington-Nichols, 14th Healthcare Operations Squadron Civilian CAT II (Non-supervisory) of the Year: GS-09 Jo Spears, 14th Flying Training Wing Protocol Civilian CAT III (Non-supervisory) of the Year: GS-11 Aaron Lorenz, 14th Student Squadron Civilian CAT II (Supervisory) of the Year: GS-09 Seth Maher, 14th Civil Engineering Squadron Civilian CAT III (Supervisory) of the Year: GS-13 Richard Marra, 14th Communications Squadron Key Spouse of the Year: Amber Thomason Team of the Year: Base Operations Services Support Flight Innovation Team of the Year: 14th Diagnostics & Therapeutics Flight Congratulations to all award winners!