Two Airmen operating out of the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base at Fort Custer are being honored by the Michigan Air National Guard for being the "best of the best".

The Michigan ANG announced on Monday that four citizen-Airmen were chosen in four distinct categories, out of the 2,500 currently serving at the state's three ANG installations. ANG Commander Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle says that "with all of the successes that have occurred in the Michigan ANG over the past year, just being nominated for this award is an incredible achievement."

Master Sgt. Melanie Pomerville, 217th Combat Operations Squadron, Battle Creek ANG Base, was the choice for the ANG's 2019 Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award. Pomerville, of Battle Creek, was chosen due to her creation of training plans for 13 Air Operations Center duty positions, and of a training program that "transitioned standards and evaluations to an electronic system that received approval by higher headquarters." She's also a "recognized subject matter expert" in the ANG's community of command and control specialists.

The choice for the ANG's First Sergeant of the Year was Master Sgt. John Vanderkooy, 110th Medical Group, Battle Creek Ang Base. The ANG says that Vanderkooy, of Zeeland, "exemplified the qualities necessary of a first sergeant" through his handling of personnel issues and other things; they also say he was "instrumental in maintaining a culture of excellence that impacted more than 270 deployed personnel through organizing holiday events, professional development classes, and spiritual fitness groups within a challenging area of responsibility."

These Airmen were selected through a process that begins with nomination by their squadron or group commander, and then an evaluation by a board that reviews the candidates dedication and service over the previous calendar year.

The other two award winners are...

Staff Sergeant Jabett Glenn, 127th Mission Support Group, Selfridge ANG Base, Mich., is the Michigan ANG’s 2019 Airman of the Year. A skilled administrative technician, Glenn revitalized her squadron’s performance evaluation process, resulting in an 84% completion increase during the first quarter of 2018. She was also praised by superiors for streamlining newcomer in-processing time and additionally aided in several other examples of process-improvement. She resides in Detroit.


Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Smaltz, 127th Security Forces Squadron, Selfridge ANG Base, Mich, is the Michigan ANG’s 2019 Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, due to his performance as supervisor of standards and evaluation for the 127th Security Forces Squadron. In this role, he developed a new certification process for installation Security Forces personnel and was identified as an individual superior performer by the Air Mobility Command Inspector General during a high-profile wing exercise. He is also a motivated advocate for higher education, receiving an Associate’s Degree from the Community College of the Air Force and completing the Michigan Evidence Collection Technician certification. He resides in Roseville.

These award winners will now be reviewed at the regional level, and could go on to compete against their peers throughout the United States.

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