Team Hill member wins award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence
By Mitch Shaw, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 27, 2007
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --
On June 13, Staff Sgt. Matthew Hefti, 775th Civil Engineer Squadron, was selected as one of the Air Force's top enlisted members as he was named one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of 2007.
An Air Force selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, considered 33 nominees who represented major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies and Air Staff agencies. The board selected the 12 Airmen based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements.
Sergeant Hefti was selected for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence. He has served in Iraq as an explosive ordinance disposal team member and is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Last fall, Sergeant Hefti was one of only three Airmen selected as a spokesman for the Department of Defense's Why We Serve Tour, where he traveled around the country to promote patriotism and talk about his military service.
"It has been quite difficult stepping out of my role as a bomb tech and stepping into the role of a public affairs Airman," Sergeant Hefti said. "But really we're all ambassadors for our branch of service and for the military as a whole, so it was a great experience to be able to do that."
While on the tour, Sergeant Hefti spoke about his combat experiences in Iraq disarming and disposing of explosive hazards on a daily basis.
"It was very enjoyable to be able to connect to a large number of Americans and tell the Air Force story," Sergeant Hefti said. "I think it's extremely important that the American people get a chance to hear from regular troops on what it's like to serve; it keeps them connected to what's really going on."
The nominees are authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year ribbon, while the 12 winners will wear the bronze service star device on the ribbon. The winners will also wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year Badge for one year from the date of formal presentation.
The 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year will be honored during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C. in September. They will also serve as members of the Air Force Association's Enlisted Advisory Council for the next year.
"Sergeant Hefti has been deployed since before 775 CES Annual Awards selection, so he's missed every opportunity to be recognized in person for his superior achievements," said Lt. Col. Craig Biondo, 775 CES commander. "He's due back from Afghanistan in mid-July, and I'm happy to say he will be in Washington, D.C. to personally receive the recognition he so richly deserves."