310th Space Wing honors heritage at 19th Annual Awards Banquet

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Laura Turner
  • 310th Space Wing Public Affairs


Members of the 310th Space Wing, joined by their family and friends, came together to celebrate the 2016 Annual Award nominees Saturday evening at the Antlers Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs. With a heritage dating all the way back to the Doolittle Raid of World War II, the evening was packed with historical memorabilia and stories of legends past and present.

Col. Traci Kueker-Murphy, 310th Space Wing commander, introduced the guest speaker at the event as the ‘Founding Father of Space’ in the Air Force Reserve.

“This was a gentleman who, sometime back before 1993, had the idea that the Reserves could do Space,” said Kueker-Murphy. “He talked to other folks who had similar ideas and they said ‘You know, we can do this. We can actually do a Reserve unit in space. We can start something new.’ It was an innovative idea.”

The guest speaker, Maj. Gen. Frank Casserino, United States Air Force Reserve, Retired, spoke about his experience as the first Air Force Reserve space commander and the founding of the 7th Space Operations Squadron. He then went on to mentor individuals within the wing, giving them ideas on how to be successful in their units and careers.

“Don’t be afraid to fail,” said Casserino. “Take care of your people; moving obstacles, providing resources, rewarding them and knowing them and their families.”

310th Bombardment alumni, Lieutenant Ernest “Ernie” George LaCroix, Jr., Lieutenant Bernard “Bernie” Peters and Corporal Marion Hall showed their support as guests of the event. Kueker-Murphy provided the alumni and their families tokens of appreciation and thanked them for their continued support of the 310th Space Wing’s mission.

310th Space Wing 2016 Annual Awards Winners:

Airman of the Year - Senior Airman Cortney S. Kelly, 380 SPCS/OG

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year - Tech. Sgt. Bronwen R. Gulledge, 9 SOPS

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year - Master Sgt. Matthew J. Scandrol, 710 SFS/MSG

Additional Duty First Sergeant of the Year - Master Sgt. Larissa E. Beavers, 9 SOPS

First Sergeant of the Year - Master Sgt. Shaun Phelps, 710 SFS

Company Grade Officer of the Year - Capt. Christel D. Andrews, 9 SOPS

Civilian Category II Non-Supervisor - GS-13 Phillip Morgan, 7 SOPS/OG

Civilian Category II Supervisor - GS-13 Erin M. Hendricks, 9 SOPS

Capt. Dee Jai Rogers Award - Maj. Shuan L. Pringle, 310 OG

Squadron of the Year - 9th Space Operations Squadron