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Former MHAFB Airman recognized as one of Air Force’s best

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A former Gunfighter currently stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., recently was named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2012.

Staff Sergeant Cory Branham, 364th Training Squadron military training leader, was recognized for his superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements as an enlisted member of the Air Force while stationed here with the 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

"It took me a while to process the news when I found out, and to be honest it still may not have set in," said Branham. "My initial reaction was to call some of my past supervisors and thank them for the mentorship and help they gave me."

Some of Branham's many awards and accomplishments included earning his Community College of the Air Force degree in May 2011 where he received the Pitsenbarger scholarship, and receiving the John L. Levitow award while attending Airman Leadership School.

He also won the 366th LRS AOY award in 2010 and 2011, and was the 366th Mission Support Group and 366th Fighter Wing AOY in 2011.

The AFA will honor the 12 OAY in events in Washington, D.C., Sept. 15-20. Branham was picked from Airmen representing the major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies and Air Staff agencies.

"I am looking forward to meeting the other eleven winners in September," Branham said. "Previous winners of this award have left a huge legacy, and I will do my absolute best to live up to it."

His accomplishment allows him to represent all Airmen as a member of the Air Force Enlisted Council for one year.

"Senior Airman Branham should be extremely proud of his accomplishment," said Col. Bruce Smith, 366th FW vice commander. "The Gunfighter community is proud to have this Airman chosen for such a prestigious award."

The OAY program was initiated at the Air Force Association's first national conference in New Orleans in 1956. The selection board consists of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, selected major-command command chiefs and a general officer. The selections are then reviewed by the Air Force Chief of Staff.

"It is an absolute honor to represent the 366th FW," stated Branham. "I know the caliber of people throughout the wing and it has made me a better Airman, supervisor and person. Thanks to all my supervisors, leadership and friends both at Mountain Home and Ft. Leonard Wood for all the advice and support."