NORAD and U.S. NORTHCOM Airman Named Outstanding Enlisted Member

By Merrie Schilter-Lowe NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs


Tech. Sgt. Elvin Sanders was named one of three outstanding enlisted representatives in Colorado Springs for 2004 during the annual Armed Forces Day Luncheon, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce May 14.

Sanders, who is assigned to North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command at Peterson AFB, won in category two, which recognizes people in the grades of E-5 to E-6.

The other top winners were: Senior Airman Trey Goodwin, an entry controller with the 50th Security Forces Squadron, Schriever AFB, category one, E-1 to E-4; and Sgt. 1st Class John Kent, an observer and controller – trainer with A Battery at Fort Carson, category three, E-7 to E-9.

The overall winners were among the 12 nominees representing all of the military installations in the area. The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee sponsors the outstanding enlisted representative award to recognize the top performer in the active-duty, Guard and Reserve forces. Nominees received a plaque and gifts and prizes, donated by area businesses, totaling more than $8,000.

Sanders is the noncommissioned officer in charge of promotions and officer and enlisted professional military education at NORAD and USNORTHCOM headquarters. The Detroit, Mich., native enlisted in the Air Force in 1989 and has had assignments to Hahn AB, Germany, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

Sanders also was the U.S. Space Command 2001 NCO of the Year and one of the command’s nominees to the Air Force 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. He is currently pursuing an associate’s degree in human resource management and vehicle maintenance.

More than 1,000 people attended the Armed Forces Day Luncheon at the Broadmoor International Center. Maj. Gen. Robert Wilson, Fort Carson commander, told the nominees that he was “proud to stand in formation” with them.

The general, who was the featured speaker, also recounted the history of Armed Forces Day and said that the more than 600 military members in the audience represented “America’s best.” He told the group “America salutes you.”

The general also thanked the Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and the community for supporting service members and their families. He noted that a luncheon honoring all the uniformed services was appropriate since it reflected the “one team” concept now embraced by the military.

The other nine enlisted nominees were:
Category One: Spec. Billy J. Key and Spec. Danielle N. Miner, Fort Carson; and Airman 1st Class Katherine P. Portales, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center.

Category Two: Staff Sgt. Montez R. Bonner, Fort Carson; Tech. Sgt. Alex C. Escarcega, Schriever AFB; and Tech. Sgt. Ronald J. Meyers, Peterson AFB.

Category Three: Master Sgt. Anthony K. Little, NORAD and USNORTHCOM; Master Sgt. Beth A. Peura, Peterson AFB; and Sgt. 1st Class Gary Wyroski, Fort Carson.

Jeff Marovich, Military Affairs Committee vice president, said all of the nominees were “the cream,” having made it to the citywide level. He said a panel of six retired officers and senior enlisted members selected the overall winners based on personal interviews and written nomination packages.

According to Mr. Marovich, the overall winners took home prizes that included overnight accommodations at some of the area’s finest lodging facilities, dining coupons, gifts and box seat tickets at Sky Sox stadium.