OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. â€“ In support of U.S. Strategic Command’s diverse, global missions, two airmen have distinguished themselves as the best of the best among USSTRATCOM’s command post personnel.
Master Sgt. Michael Richardson and Tech. Sgt. John Jordan were named Higher Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) Command Post Senior Non-commissioned Officer (SNCO) of the year and Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) of the year, respectively, through the Air Force Command Post Annual Awards Program.
Jordan recognizes that receiving an award such as this is the result of exemplary team work and said he is “honored to be the front-man” for his team by accepting it. He emphasized strong mentorship and the example set by “the best co-workers, supervisors and functional managers” as key factors in his achievement.
“It is impossible to be successful in the military without the people with whom you work,” he said. “Every achievement in my award package was accomplished alongside equally deserving colleagues.”
U.S. Air Force Col. Timothy Murtha, USSTRATCOM Command Centers Division chief, described Jordan as “an outstanding asset to USSTRATCOM” who is “absolutely deserving of this recognition.”
“To accomplish the mission successfully, the battle staff must meet incredibly high performance standards,” he said. “Tech Sgt. Jordan, like [E-6B Airborne Command Post] (ABNCP) controllers before him, sets the standard every day.”
According to the nomination submitted by Jordan’s leadership, he helped to ensure survivable and endurable nuclear command and control (NC2) from the President to the nuclear forces while accumulating 70 flying hours as an ABNCP communications operator, trainer and evaluator in 2014.
During this time, he enabled seamless communications between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and General Officer/Flag Officer-level leadership by analyzing and interpreting emergency action messages required to make quick decisions. He also trained eight NCO’s for certification on ABNCP procedures, maximizing their capability to execute mission-critical, White House-level tasks in real world scenarios and ensured NC2 fidelity by conducting four USSTRATCOM task identification compliance evaluations.
In his free time, Jordan serves on the USSTRATCOM Joint Color Guard, organizes and participates in clean-up projects in the local community and is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in professional aeronautics through Embry Riddle Aeronautics University.
Richardson was “shocked” and “humbled” when he learned of his selection as Senior NCO of the Year and credited “some of the most amazing NCOs, SNCOs and officers” he has encountered for the recognition.
“My success cannot be attributed to just one person,” he said. “It is a true pleasure to come to work each day and know that I have this high caliber of peers [and] leaders.”
Expanding on the importance mentorship, Richardson recalled advice given to him by a former flight chief that has stuck with him to this day; “Do not pursue glory, pursue excellence.”
“I have had some truly amazing leaders [and] mentors in my life that have helped push me onto the path that I am on,” he said. “I can only hope to influence someone’s career in the same way.”
U.S. Air Force Col. Russell W. Mammoser, National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) commander, said Richardson’s role as a USSTRATCOM battle staff member aboard the NAOC aircraft “ensures the 24/7 mission supporting the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense are performed flawlessly without fail.”
“Master Sgt. Richardson is truly a superstar leader amongst a cadre of exemplary professionals,” Mammoser said.
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Rich Leasure Jr., NAOC senior enlisted leader, echoed Mammoser’s sentiments, adding that Richardson reflects “outstanding performance and dedication to the highest standards of excellence.”
Richardson serves as the Operations Team One Command and Control manager aboard the NAOC aircraft, a node of the National Military Command System. He is responsible for training 20 watch officers who work directly with USSTRATCOM’s Global Operations Center and ABNCP to perform nuclear command and control, movement and management of forces assigned to meet the world-wide objectives and force readiness requirements of the Department of Homeland Security, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Commander, USSTRATCOM.
Richardson received the award because of his many achievements in 2014, which include being hand-selected to brief a U.S. Senate committee on the capability and requirements of NC2, assuring future funding for his organization’s strategic missions.
He also coordinated with technicians to mitigate three unscheduled communication systems degradations. His efforts led to the full restoration of vital system operations within five minutes.
Finally, he dedicated 392 hours to training 26 battle staff members on NC2 procedures for relaying communications from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to nation’s strategic forces.
In his spare time, Richardson mentored high school students on the negative impacts of drug usage, led a donation drive which collected 16,000 pounds of food and supplies for underprivileged families in the local community and maintained a 3.8 grade point average toward his Master’s Degree.
By winning Higher Headquarters Command Post awards for USSTRATCOM, Master Sgt. Richardson and Tech. Sgt. Jordan will move on to compete at the Air Force level of the Command Post Annual Awards Program.