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193rd Airmen win 2015 State ANG Airmen of the Year

  • Published
  • By Julia Sorber
  • 193rd SOW
     Three Airmen from the 193rd Special Operations Wing here were awarded as 2015 Outstanding Airmen of the Year at the state level. They were awarded this for their leadership, community involvement, job performance and their achievements.
     Senior Airman Nicole Gentzel, electronic communications specialist, 193rd SOW, won in the Airman category.
     "Her job performance exceeds the standards," said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Kovach, 193rd Special Operations Group superintendent. "She is extremely proficient in her aircrew duties, is on the fast track for advancement and has deployed as both an aircrew member and as a liaison."
     There are a lot of daily routines Gentzel does to keep herself balanced and on track.
     "Time management is key. A person can't be mentally fit without being physically fit, so I spend a lot of time working out, studying, reading and getting involved."
     Gentzel says she continuously seeks to improve herself in many ways, to include pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, maintaining a 3.9 GPA. Gentzel is also enrolled in the Airman Leadership School correspondence course.
     "Senior Airman Gentzel's work ethic is impeccable," said Kovach. "She sees what needs done and does it without being directed. Oversight is not needed because she has consistently demonstrated that she gets it done right."
     Gentzel is involved in the community, to include collecting and sorting food items for a Thanksgiving Day charity that aids needy families. Gentzel also volunteers for several veterans' organizations.
     "I am not the best at anything," said Gentzel. "But the fact is that I do my best at everything that I do. I give everything that I get into 110 percent."
     Staff Sgt. Rodney Bly, aircraft structural mechanic, 193rd SOW, won in the Honor Guard category.
     "Staff Sergeant Bly has a deep, heartfelt dedication to serve his fellow Airmen by honoring the service they provided to this great nation," said Master Sgt. Timothy Greiner, 193rd SOW Base Honor Guard superintendent. "He is the first to volunteer for funeral honors as well as performing on Colors team."
     Due to his work ethic and job performance, he was chosen as a trainer to traditional guardsmen and provides classroom instruction on specialty techniques.
     Bly also worked to further increase his physical fitness score, improving it by four percent.
     "Spiritually, he is unmatched on the team," said Greiner. "Quite often he offers words of wisdom to help each member through the difficulty of providing honors for those we have deployed and served with for many years."
     "I am also an educator and mentor at Bethany Grace Fellowship where I teach Sunday school," said Bly.
     He also gets involved with the community by sponsoring a weekly Bible study at his residence, providing spiritual leadership and fellowship to community members.
     "I wasn't looking to win an award," said Bly. "I was just doing what I love and honoring those who served our country."
     Senior Master Sgt. Nancy Stoltzfus, first sergeant, 201st Red Horse Squadron, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, won in the first sergeant category.
     "She would frequently give of her free time to help Airmen in any way they needed," said Chief Master Sgt. George Flick, operations and airfields chief, 201st RHS. "When it comes to putting effort into her first sergeant position, Senior Master Sgt. Stoltzfus has a positive and enthusiastic attitude."
     A few of her leadership roles include participating in the First Sergeant Council to improve base morale, order and discipline and to mentor new first sergeants during changeovers. She also provided "flawless leadership" to many on a deployment last year, according to her award nomination information.
     "Her personality fits very well in the first sergeant positon due to her willingness to serve others," said Flick. "She can be tough when enforcing a standard and also compassionate when the situation requires it. One can see that Senior Master Sgt. Stoltzfus genuinely cares for her Airmen."
     Stoltzfus also improved her fitness scores and completed a local, Purpose-Driven Life campaign, designed to steer individuals toward their highest potential.
     "One must always balance between work, family personal self-improvement and community involvement," said Stoltzfus. "For myself, if I am not giving to each of those areas, I feel out of balance."
     Regarding community involvement, Stoltzfus leads and coordinates a Christian education committee teaches Sunday school. She volunteered to be the scorekeeper for championships of the base volleyball tournament and as traffic control for multiple 5-kilometer races.
     "Being selected for this award gives me the energy and encouragement to keep going and press forward every day to give my best," said Stoltzfus.