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NEWS | May 9, 2017

315 AES stands out in AFRC awards

By Senior Airman Tom Brading 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Three Citizen Airmen of the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Joint Base Charleston were recently named the best at what they do in the Air Force Reserve.

The following individuals were recipients of AFRC-level:

  • Maj. Lee Knoell, Outstanding Air Force Reserve Technician of the Year
  • Master Sgt. Michelle Carpenter, Outstanding Air Force Reserve Technician
  • Master Sgt. Michelle Geers, Outstanding Air Force Crew Member of the Year

“I couldn't be more proud of these individuals,” said Lt. Col. David Bailey, 315th AES commander, “We had the opportunity to showcase their specific accomplishments through this AFRC award program. The 315th AES stands out as one of the best because of the great people that make up the unit--it's all about the people.”

"Being named best in the AFRC is an accomplishment," said Knoell. "However, multiple winners within the same squadron is a testament to the entire team."

In addition to a successful team atmosphere in the unit, the team members credit their families for all the support. Carpenter was able to be a well-rounded Airman, from singlehandedly organizing eight retirements with narration highlighting career successes.

“I love being a part of the 315th AES,” said Carpenter, a twenty-year veteran to the squadron. “I come from a huge military family, so serving in the military is not only a proud honor, but it’s a tradition.”

Carpenter wasn’t the only member of the 315th AES that thought about their family whenever it came time to thank someone for the achievement. Master Sgt. Michelle Geers, 315th AES aeromedical evacuation technician, thanked her friends and family for their ongoing help and support as well.

"My military career has required frequent travelling and last minute trips, especially last year with my deployment overseas," said Geers. "I would also like to thank my civilian company, co-workers and patients with Fox Rehabilitation who have always been understanding and supportive of my busy and frequently changing schedule. Finally, I want to thank my peers and mentors within the 315 AES who believed in me so much to nominate me for this amazing award."

Geers showcased her ability as an Airman in and out of uniform, from running in multiple competitions, including the Palmetto 200 to deploying overseas as a senior non-commissioned officer.

“I would like to thank my family for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to allow me to do this job,” said Maj. Lee Knoell, 315th AES director of administrative systems. “I would also like to thank the squadron for always keeping our bottom line ‘the wounded warrior’ at the heart of what they do.”

Knoell also thanked members of 315th AES leadership for considering him for the award. However, it was his leadership that thanked him on the way he exemplified himself as a linchpin of the squadron. Stepping into the senior ART position, Knoell successfully led the 315 AES on more than 12 exercises.

“I would like the readers to know they should not be consumed with pursuing the next job, award, or promotion,” added Knoell. “Rather, focus on doing your job/mission and taking care of people. Success is a byproduct of doing these two things well and it will come, be patient.”

“These individuals gave 110 percent and we were able to have their contributions recognized,” Bailey added. “Our unit could not accomplish the mission without the diverse number of specialties (Air Reserve Technicians, enlisted, officer, medic) represented in these awards.”