MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. --
A member of the base Blue Eagles accepted the Air National Guard's Outstanding Honor Guard Airman of the Year for 2009, on June 9 at the Air Guard Readiness Center on Andrews Air Force Base Maryland.
Each year, top performers from the Air Guard are selected to compete for the prestigious title of ANG Outstanding Honor Guard Airman of the Year.
Taking this year's title for The 163d Reconnaissance Wing was Staff Sgt. Terrence Mananes, who is a traditional member of the 163d Force Sustainment Squadron and a full time member of the March base honor guard.
"They are the best of the best," said Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director of the Air Guard, during their award ceremony June 9. "But I am sure they will tell you that they would not be here today were it not for [their families]."
Sergeant Mananes met with the Guard's top military leaders during the trip, including Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Muncy, command chief of the Air Guard among others.
On June 7, all the winners attended a Washington Nationals baseball game as an ice-breaker for the more than half dozen formal and informal ceremonies that were held in their honor. The Airmen also toured the Pentagon, Capitol and Senate buildings along with many other D.C. sites during his trip, and culminated the visit with a formal banquet June 11 at the Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C.
The Air Guard's outstanding honor guard member, Sergeant Mananes, "contributed immensely" in official ceremonies and in funerals for veterans and fallen service members, said officials.
Sergeant Mananes is noted for his second-to-none uniform standards and mentorship of his fellow Airmen.
"All nominees can be extremely proud of being selected to represent the states and of their service and contributions to the Air National Guard and the communities in which they serve," said General Wyatt in his announcement letter to the states.
Returning home with a trove of coins, plaques, prizes and well wishes, Sergeant Mananes will participate in Air Guard and Air Force events as goodwill ambassadors throughout the year.
Sergeant Mananes will go on to compete with his Air Force active duty and Reserve counterparts for the Air Force's top 12 Outstanding Airmen recognition.
(Information gathered from Master Sgt. Mike Smith's story "National Guard fetes its outstanding Airmen for 2009" found at www.ng.mil/news/archives/2009/06/061009-Outstanding.aspx