More than 20 citizen soldiers, airmen and state employees were recognized for their exceptional service and accomplishments of 2018 at the New Hampshire National Guard’s inaugural awards ceremony last Thursday at the Edward Cross Training Complex in Pembroke.
In his remarks, Brig. Gen. David Mikolaities, adjutant general of the NHNG, said the reason for the ceremony — held on the National Guard’s 382nd birthday — was to celebrate the NHNG “brand and team.”
“Our number one mission in the Mission Triad is to fight and win our nation’s wars,” he said. “We’re a team that’s supposed to win. We don’t play in this profession to tie or lose.”
And “our families, our employers and our state employees … work behind the scenes to field a successful team.”
“Those individuals who’ve done superior performance or achievement elevate our game — they should be acknowledged. They should be rewarded.”
The awards ceremony concluded with a celebration of the National Guard’s birthday, featuring the oldest and youngest state guardsmen cutting the cake, and also including the reading of a proclamation from Gov. Chris Sununu declaring Dec. 13 as “New Hampshire National Guard Day.”
Awards included New Hampshire Army National Guard Soldier of the Year: Spc. Nicholas Rossetti; New Hampshire Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Sgt. Zachary Maynard; Recruit Sustainment Program Soldier of the Year: Pvt. Alexander Beaulieu; New Hampshire Army National Guard Recruiter of the Year: Staff Sgt. Robin Rojek; Instructor of the Year: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Athena Clements; The Adjutant General Match Champion (Rifle): Sgt. 1st Class Mark Perkins II; The Adjutant General Match Champion (Pistol and Rifle/Pistol Combined): Staff Sgt. David Musso; 157th Air Refueling Wing Airman of the Year: Senior Airman John Hird; 157th Air Refueling Wing NCO of the Year winner: Staff Sgt. Alan Dwyer; 157th Air Refueling Wing Senior NCO of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Dale Snowdon; 157th Air Refueling Wing First Sergeant of the Year: Master Sgt. Eric Krans; 157th Air Refueling Wing Spirit of Hope winner: Staff Sgt. Logan Malone; 157th Air Refueling Wing Company Grade Officer of the Year: 1st Lt. Katelynn “Katie” Gonzalez; and 157th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard Member of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Frederick Horne.
Also awarded were Paul Annis, plant maintenance engineer IV; Zachary Boyajian, environmentalist IV; Kenneth Coombs, architect; Arin Mills, environmentalist II; John Walsh, maintenance mechanic II; Cathy Lyons, program assistant II; Nancy Gauthier, accountant I; and Derek Murdock, state firefighter I.