SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Air National Guard is pleased to announce its Outstanding First Sergeant, Senior Noncommissioned Officer, Noncommissioned Officer and Airman of the Year for 2013. The selection board chose the Airmen based on their superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.
Senior Master Sgt. Zona Hornstra, of Sioux Falls, is the Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year. Hornstra has served 17 years with the 114th Medical Group. She started her military career as a medical element medic and has since worked her way up to superintendent of nursing services. Hornstra has spent 26 years as a registered dental hygienist and oral educator in Sioux Falls.
“It is definitely an honor to be selected,” said Hornstra. “There are so many exceptional and professional military members within the unit, it’s a huge compliment.”
Technical Sgt. Christopher Wilsey, of Luverne, Minn., is the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. He joined the Security Forces Squadron in October 2000.
“While I was looking at different Army National Guard units, my uncle asked me if I had looked at the Air National Guard,” said Wilsey. “He brought me over for a tour and I signed my enlistment papers that day.”
Wilsey has a full-time career as a plant manager for Minnesota Special Liquids, a liquid feed manufacturing company, where he has been working for 10 years.
“Receiving this award is a great honor. My superiors have always placed a lot of faith in me,” said Wilsey. “All their faith means a lot, and I have always tried to meet their expectations.”
When asked about his future goals Wilsey said that he would like to one day become the first sergeant for the Security Forces Squadron.
The Airman of the Year is Senior Airman Kammi Fiegen, of Parkston. Fiegen joined the Medical Group of the 114th Fighter Wing in 2010. She was recently hired on full-time as a health technician in the squadron.
“My influence to join the National Guard came from my dad, Todd Fiegen,” she said. “He is prior service Army and Army National Guard.”
Fiegan says it was an honor to be chosen as the 2013 Outstanding Airman of the Year.
“It was truly an amazing exprience to be recognized as an outstanding Airman,” she said. “I hope I can continue to make my peers and supervisors proud.”
Fiegen plans to make a career out of the Air National Guard. She says she enjoys being part of the South Dakota Air National Guard because of the people she works with.
Chief Master Sgt. Randy Wingen, of Crooks, is the Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year.
Wingen joined the Air National Guard in July of 1992. He currently serves as first sergeant for the 114th Fighter Wing. In his civilian job he repairs broken lab equipment for Sanford Hospital as a bio- medical technician.
“Being selected for this award is quite an honor,” said Wingen. “It’s something I don’t take lightly.”
This is the second time Wingen has been selected for this award, but the biggest accomplishment he is proud of is helping people.
“When you help someone with a problem it is always really special,” he said. “There is no award or dollar value you can put on that.”
The 2013 Outstanding Airmen of the Year will represent the 114th Fighter Wing as they compete against other Air National Guard members nationwide to determine the overall Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Maj. Anthony Deiss at (605) 737-6721 or cell (605) 431- 8753, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.