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Naval Air Station Whiting Field (NASWF) recently announced its Sailors of the Quarter for the First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015.
This awards program is designed to give recognition to the top performing Sailors at various levels of enlisted service.
The Sailor of the Quarter is the top performing First Class Petty Officer. The Junior Sailor of the Quarter is the best performing Second Class Petty Officer. Lastly, the Blue Jacket of the Quarter is the most impressive Sailor in the junior ranks.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate First Class Gerry Elam, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Cory Montford, and Air Traffic Controller Third Class Thomas Taikina have been respectively recognized as the Sailor, Junior Sailor, and Blue Jacket of the Quarter.
Recognized for his “sustained superior performance”, Elam is currently the Departmental Lead Petty Officer and Fire Captain for the Fire and Emergency Services Department. In addition to his primary duties, he is also the Assistant Safety Officer, Building Manager, Fire Warden, and Departmental HAZMAT PO. His exemplary performance in all assigned capacities has directly contributed to the safe completion of over 101,650 flight evolutions. Elam has also proven to be a community stalwart for both NASWF and the surrounding areas by serving as Assistant Command Volunteer Coordinator and having dedicated over 850 hours to 20 different organizations and raising over $12,000 for the less fortunate.
Elam’s Department Head Lt. Kenyatto Mayes said, “Petty Officer Elam is an excellent leader, manager, and organizer. He performs at the highest caliber in every endeavor.”
Junior Sailor of the Quarter Montford is the ESAMS Coordinator for the Fire and Emergency Services Department and has been responsible for the scheduling, reporting, and administering of training for 106 firefighters in all aspects of Aircraft Firefighting procedures. His technical expertise has resulted in him being the only service member in the command qualified to conduct respirator fit tests, and his dedication to excellence has led to the completion of over 50 firefighter physicals and 25 fit tests for the Fire Department. Montford is also a significant figure in the community, volunteering at organizations such as the Milton Library, Pensacola Fair, Veteran’s Assistance, and Men in Action as mentor for local youth. Mayes praised his Sailor, stating that, “His ability, attitude, and overall performance are of the highest caliber. He has consistently displayed unhesitating leadership, managerial, and administrative skills to obtain unparalleled results.”
Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class Taikina is a very involved junior Sailor and assumes many roles in the Operations Department. He currently serves as the South Tower Supervisor, a position normally held by senior Petty Officers, as well as Radar Supervisor, Local Controller, Ground Controller, Radar Final Controller, Flight Data Operator/Clearance Delivery, and South Tower Fire Warden. Taikina has led 14 controllers in managing 20,000 mishap free flight operations and 1,800 ground control approaches. As Assistant Training Petty Officer, he has facilitated numerous hours of airfield vehicle operator instruction and contributed to the certification of 35 military and civilian personnel. Much like his Sailor of the Year counterparts, Taikina also serves as a role model and mentor in both the command and community. He dedicated over 116 off-duty hours to organizing, planning, and promoting various events and programs in support of groups such as the Auxiliary Security Force, Diversity Committee, Color Guard, Christmas Party Committee, and Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions.
“Taikina exemplifies personal integrity, military bearing, and personal appearance,” said Cmdr. Eric Seib. “He maintains high standards and is an outstanding Sailor.” These three Sailors have distinguished themselves by not only excelling in their primary duties, but by also going above and beyond their obligations to improve both the command and surrounding communities
Command Master Chief Alton Smith offered his praises the Sailors, “We are proud to recognize these Sailors for both their accomplishments as well as their contributions to NAS Whiting Field. They serve as role models for their peers and subordinates and are, without a doubt, vital members of this community.”