1st Air Force selects 148th Fighter Wing member as its First Sergeant of the Year

Master Sgt. Michael Hawkinson, 148FW SFS First Sgt.

Master Sgt. Michael Hawkinson, 148FW SFS First Sgt.

DULUTH, Minn. -- Master Sgt. Michael Hawkinson, of the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn., was announced as the 1st Air Force First Sergeant of the Year for 2009. Every year, this prestigious award is conferred on individuals selected from a pool of candidates from throughout the Air Force who have already been selected as First Sergeant of the Year for their respective local command and state command.

Hawkinson was selected for the award based on his military and community accomplishments during the year including:

· Deployed as first sergeant for the 148FW Security Forces deployed to Joint Base Balad, Iraq in November 2008 - February 2009
· Contamination control area supervisor for the 148FW during its Operational Readiness Inspection in 2009
· Coordinated the Security Forces Squadron Honor Airman Program
· Participated in the collection of $100,000 for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
· Acting 148FW First Sergeant's Council Vice President

Hawkinson has served three years as a first sergeant and would like to serve three additional years because he finds satisfaction in helping Airmen through the sometimes demanding task of balancing civilian and military responsibilities. "Counseling Airmen, for me, is more about helping people go in a positive direction rather than just pointing out what they should have done and leading them around by the nose," said Hawkinson.

Perhaps one of the reasons why Hawkinson is effective as a "first shirt" is because he too strives to find the correct balance between his role in the Air National Guard and his role as a small business owner. At times, this balance has been challenging due to his numerous involvements at the 148FW and his responsibility to his business and his employees.

Hawkinson will be honored, along with the other 1st Air Force recipients, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. in March 2010.