The 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard recently announced its 2015 Airmen of the Year.
They are Airman First Class David Bousonville, Honor Guard Member of the Year; Master Sgt. Justin Brinkman, First Sergeant of the Year; Tech. Sgt. Dennis Douglass, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; 2nd. Lt. Jennifer Ferrari, Company Grade Officer of the Year; Airman First Class Charles Mason, Chief’s Award Winner; Senior Airman Jake Sorosiak, Airman of the Year; and Master Sgt. Sherry Szymanski, Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
During this award cycle, Airman 1st Class David Bousonville was assigned to the Force Support Squadron as a services sustainment apprentice. Excelling at his primary duties within the Services Flight, he is most recognized for his role as a member of the 180th Fighter Wing Honor Guard. This year, Bousonville dedicated over 50 hours supporting Honor Guard and Color Guard events, honoring our fallen veterans and promoting patriotism throughout our communities.
Bousonville selflessly volunteered his time, performing 20 percent of the Honor Guard details, showcasing the Air Force commitment to our veterans and their dedicated service. He proudly represented the 180th Fighter Wing, Air National Guard and the Air Force by assisting with four Color Guard events in local communities and also escorted student flight members during the Heroes in Action Community Salutes event.
Outside of his dedicated military service, Bousonville continues to remain focused on pursuing his Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Toledo while also working toward his Associate of Applied Science in hospitality management through the Community College of the Air Force. In addition to balancing his studies, Bousonville is a certified dog obedience trainer, a youth mentor for the Bowling Green Big Brothers, Big Sister program, and still finds time to donate over 400 hours of his time as a mentor for the Zoo Teen organization.
Master Sgt. Justin Brinkman is assigned as the First Sergeant for the 180th Fighter Wing Mission Support Group. During this time, he volunteered time away from his family and civilian job to support several in-garrison training deployments. Brinkman served as the operational first sergeant to Key West, Fla., Biloxi, Miss., Alpena, Mich., and Tucson, Ariz. During these exercises, he was the dedicated focal point for the readiness, health, morale and welfare of our Stinger Airmen.
While balancing the duties of both his military and civilian careers, Brinkman was focused on furthering his professional military education. He successfully completed both the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Course.
Outside of his military responsibilities, Brinkman is the director of the Elmwood High School Marching Band, pep band, four jazz bands, five concert bands and the pit orchestra. He is also a member of the Elmwood Education Association where he is the dedicated building representative and the lead supplemental contract negotiator, leading to the acquisition of over $90,000 of musical instruments and equipment for the district. In his free time, Brinkman also volunteers as the director of both the Elmwood Community Jazz Band and the Fostoria Community Band.
During this award period, serving as a dedicated weapons crew chief, Tech. Sgt. Dennis Douglass is responsible for leading a three-person load team, directly contributing to the team’s 98 percent pass rate of evaluated certifications while also delivering a 100 percent quality assurance evaluation rating. Going above and beyond his primary assigned duties, Douglass has also taken on the role of unit career advisor for the weapons element where he is responsible for providing career guidance to more than 85 Airmen, leading to a sustained retention rate of over 90 percent.
Leading by example and with an unending positive attitude, Douglass has taken it upon himself to mentor six Airmen, focusing on professional military education and customs and courtesies, resulting in the promotion of a fellow Airman. He continually volunteers for additional duties in an effort to improve his technical proficiency, skill-level and preparedness.
Always striving for excellence, Douglass continues to work toward a degree in adolescence and young adulthood social studies, maintaining a 3.5 grade point average earning him a spot on the dean’s list for both the spring and fall semesters. While balancing his studies, Douglass still finds time to volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity and Love Medina City organizations. He is also the coordinator for the children’s ministry at Grace Church in Medina and currently serves as the vice commander for American Legion Post 808.
A dynamic leader, 2nd Lt. Jennifer Ferrari spearheaded pre- and post-deployment operations and successfully deployed over 400 Airmen and 200 tons of cargo to various locations around the world. This directly contributed to more than 390 training sorties and a 95.4 percent mission capable rate. Ferrari provided excellent oversight, managing 275 Theater Support Packages and 116 Reserve Component Period mobilizations and deployment preparations, providing 391 combat ready Airmen. As the wing’s installation deployment officer, she is responsible for coordinating joint deployment operations that moved 40 Marines and one half ton of cargo. This enabled successful Naval tasking and mission execution.
Reaching above and beyond her primary duties assigned, Ferrari is the alternate Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. She leads 35 facilitators who implemented the “Flip the Script” training program. In that capacity, she provided over 100 hours of training and cultivated facilitator response skills. Ferrari was the lynchpin in the coordination and execution of Sexual Assault Response and Prevention training of more than 900 Airmen over 12 sessions, increasing program awareness.
While balancing military and family responsibilities, Ferrari continues to pursue a master’s degree in military history through American Public University and sets aside time to volunteer with the Cherry Street Mission and the Life Revitalization Center. She also volunteered her time to serve as the captain of the 180th Fighter Wing Dragon Boat Team, raising money for the local Partners in Education Program. She also orchestrated the wing’s first ever “Denim Day,” raising more than $700 for a local women’s crisis center and fostering ties with our local communities.
Assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing’s Mission Support Group as a client systems technician, Airman 1st Class Charles Mason is a shining example of excellence for all to follow. His outstanding customer support and tireless efforts to learn and develop solutions for high visibility issues and tasks have led to recognition from both the wing and Mission Support Group commanders in less than one year of assignment to the wing’s Communication Focal Point. Mason’s ability to provide top-notch technical support to the Air Combat Command Inspector General team earned him the title of superior performer at the conclusion of the wing’s capstone inspection.
Continually performing at a level far beyond his rank and age, Mason not only completed basic military training and technical school, he also completed two volumes of his required career development course increasing his knowledge of the information technology field. In addition to, he also completed an advanced security course, improving network administration and increasing the Communications Focal Point productivity by more than 30 percent, all within one year of enlisting into the Air National Guard.
Outside of his military duties, Mason is focused on finding time to support his community. He has served countless hours rebuilding a daycare in an effort to provide a safer environment for children. He has represented the 180th Fighter Wing, the Air National Guard and the Air Force at several community events from parades and flag raising details to numerous speaking events, bolstering ties with those communities who continue to support the wing.
Throughout this award period, Senior Airman Jacob Sorosiak has surpassed expectations as an F-16 weapons loader, maintaining 100 percent certification on nine munitions, seven qualification standards and a zero discrepancy record throughout 11 weapons loading evaluations. His flawless execution of the mission directly contributes to the section’s 96 percent qualification rate. Exemplifying service before self, Sorosiak volunteers for early shifts and prepares for the day before weapons crew arrival. He is also responsible for inspecting over 750 pieces of alternate mission equipment valued at more than $8.5 million.
Highly motivated, Sorosiak continues to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and recreation. He also takes time to motivate those around him, spearheading the Drill Fit Challenge within the weapons section, promoting the “Fit to Fight” mentality among fellow Airmen. Maintaining a 100 percent on his own physical fitness tests, he coaches 10 Airmen within his section, directly contributing to a 13 percent increase in passing scores within the weapons section.
In his spare time, Sorosiak is passionate about giving back to his community. He enjoys tutoring students at a local school and provides free health and fitness training at a local gym. He has donated suitcases of clothes and food to the B+ Foundation, which works with homeless individuals and families with children battling cancer. Most notable was his generous donation of $2,000 to a community member living with Cerebral Palsy, allowing him the vacation of a lifetime to Walt Disney World.
During this award period, as the training manager for the 180th Fighter Wing’s Maintenance Group, Master Sgt. Sherri Szymanski effectively managed the training requirements for over 450 maintainers, confirming training requirements were fulfilled and assuring the readiness of the group. She was solely responsible for designing and executing a remedial professional military education end of course training program that resulted in an 89.6 percent passing rate and enhanced technical readiness capability. Szymanski energetically conducted 19 staff assistance visits where she identified program discrepancies and inefficient processes, significantly reducing workload and allowing for efficient mission focus.
Dedicated to self-improvement, Szymanski continues to strive for fitness excellence and healthy lifestyles by providing fitness testing mentorship and support for fellow Airmen, promoting the “Fit to Fight” mentality. Committed to leading by example, Szymanski invests time in reading leadership publications allowing her to develop her skills in working with people of all ranks and personalities and fortifying teamwork.
While balancing military and family life, Szymanski remains involved in her local parent/teacher organization that works to raise money for school functions or donates items to the school, helping to alleviate hardships for local teachers. She also volunteers with the Children’s Protective Services, ensuring safe environments for children while also serving as an assistant den leader for the Boy Scouts of America.