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NEWS | Jan. 30, 2013

Charleston's Superintendent wins Air Force level award

By Airmen 1st Class Chacarra Walker Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Manalastas, 628th Comptroller Squadron superintendent, will be presented the Air Force level Financial Management Chief Master Sgt. Larry P. Gonzales Superintendent of the Year award by the Secretary of the Air Force.

"I was in disbelief," said Manalastas. "There are a lot of great superintendents out there and to be selected amongst all of them was truly an honor."

"It just doesn't get any better than FM Superintendent of the Air Force," said Maj. Laurie Lanpher, 628th Comptroller Squadron commander. "Senior Master Sgt. Manalastas is the best of the best and we are so incredibly lucky to have him in our squadron. Well earned, well deserved!"

Manalastas' specific accomplishments toward the award included directing squadron operations, which oversees nearly 50 personnel . The 628th CPTS serviced more than 19,000 members and managed a budget in excess of $764 million, enabling 17,000 sorties.

Additionally, Manalastas managed a $2.2 million Overseas Contingency Operations fund, and transitioned more than 1,000 troops to the their deployed locations.

Manalastas also developed a local Air Force Reserve delayed enlistment program, recruiting 22 active-duty volunteers and training more than 70 enlistees to head to Air Force Basic Military Training.

This is Manalastas first time as a superintendent. He has been a superintendent at JB Charleston for the last two and a half years.

"My job as a superintendent is to mentor the junior officers, Airmen, and noncommissioned officers to become effective leaders" said Manalastas. "I also give the commander discipline and awards recommendations."

Along with being the 628th CPTS superintendent, he is also the 628th Wing Staff Agencies superintendent, where he manages all of the administrative controls, such as training and readiness to deploy 24 career specialties.

Manalastas was originally born in Manila, Philippines, but quickly immigrated to the United States and was raised in Norfolk, Va. He started off as a young Airman in transportation then changed careers into financial analysis.

After cross training into financial analysis, Manalastas was accepted into the special-duty position of a military training instructor. Soon after, he earned the coveted Master Military Training Instructor distinction known as "Blue Rope."

"Being an MTI was the best job in the military ," said Manalastas. "It is a great opportunity to train our civilians into brand new Airmen. I've been fortunate to put more than 500 Airmen in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard."

Manalastas will receive his award in May at the Professional Development Institute Conference, a finance-focused conference, where the Secretary of the Air Force will be awarding the accomplishment.

"The squadron helped tremendously," said Manalastas. "If it wasn't for CPTS I wouldn't have won the award. Honestly, I'm thankful to work with great professionals in this squadron, and all their hard work and efforts last year that allowed me to have the winning package. It was really their efforts, not necessarily me."

"If I had any advice for young Airmen it would be to do your job and do it well," said Manalastas. "When you get to your new unit you should think what can I do to make it better, cheaper, faster?"