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Department of the Air Force announces the 12 Outstanding Airmen for 2021

Graphic of a silhouette of Airmen walking across flight line.

Air Force officials have selected the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Kiana Pearson

Graphic of a silhouette of Airmen walking across flight line.

Air Force officials have selected the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Kiana Pearson

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

Air Force officials have selected the service’s top enlisted members, naming the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021. Air Education and Training Command's Tech. Sgt. Christopher Bennett from the 81st Training Group at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, was one of the Air Force winners.

An Air Force selection board at the Air Force’s Personnel Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph considered 35 nominees who represented major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies and Headquarters Air Force. The board selected the 12 Airmen based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements.

Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year (alphabetically, by command of assignment when selected):

  •  Senior Master Sgt. Marcus D. Banks, Pacific Air Forces
  •  Tech. Sgt. Christopher M. Bennett, Air Education and Training Command
  •  Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Bennett, USAFE-AFAFRICA
  •  Tech. Sgt. Kelli A. Floyd, Air Combat Command
  •  Staff Sgt. Valerie M. Graw, Air Force Materiel Command
  •  Staff Sgt. Colleen F. Mitchell, Air Force District of Washington
  •  Senior Airman Giovanni Pacheco, Airman Support United States Space Force
  •  Staff Sgt. Kristy L. Riley, Air Force Reserve Command
  •  Staff Sgt. Alex M. Sandmann, Air Force Global Strike Command
  •  Senior Master Sgt. Mark R. Schneider II, Air National Guard
  •  Senior Airman Jamonica M. Smith, Air Mobility Command
  •  Master Sgt. Hannah E. Walters, Air Force Special Operations Command

The winners are authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon with the bronze service star device on the ribbon. They are also authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year badge for one year from the date of formal presentation.

The MAJCOM nominee list is available on myPers > Recognition >Special Trophies and Awards or select the active-duty enlisted category from the dropdown menu and search “12 OAY.”