Members of the 27th Special Operations Medical Group salute the flag at a redesignation ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., August 29, 2019. The ceremony redesignated two squadrons with the intention of providing care in a more specialized manner. Senior Airman Vernon Walter III
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Faces of the Force

Nov. 5, 2021

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Soldiers with the Fort Sam Houston Caisson Section carry the flag-draped remains of Col. Richard E. Cole during his interment ceremony Sept. 7, 2021, at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Texas. Cole remained a familiar face within the Air Force after his retirement, touring Air Force schoolhouses and installations to help promote the spirit of service among Airmen. Tristin English/USAF

Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole was honored and posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel during a Sept. 7 ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Cole was the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, a group of 80 Airmen led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle. The Airmen flew 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers from the USS Hornet April 18, 1942, en route to an air raid to attack Tokyo in World War II, after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. While it only caused minor physical damage to mainland Japan, the mission boosted morale within the U.S. and signaled to Japan that the U.S. was not only ready to fight back, but willing to bring the fight to them if necessary, and strike the Japanese mainland.

Senior Master Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, 2018 Spark Tank winner, Nov. 4, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm

Senior Master Sgt. Bartek Bachleda created a boom operator instructor platform design that was installed in a KC-135 at Altus AFB, Okla., in November 2019. Now, it has made it past initial operational capability and been issued a Time Compliance Technical Order by Air Force A4 Logistics to fully integrate its installation in all KC-135 aircraft. The design provides a more ergonomically correct and stable workstation and is scheduled to replace all KC-135 instructor platforms USAF-wide.

Maj. Rashida Brown, 341st Medical Group practice manager and program director for the 341st Missile Wing Diversity and Inclusion Council, poses for a portrait photo, Feb. 22, 2021 at the base clinic on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Brown and the Diversity and Inclusion Council worked behind the scenes to coordinate events on base for Black History Month. Airman Elijah Van Zandt

Maj. Rashida Brown, 341st Medical Group group-practice manager, recently completed the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program at Cornell University, where she learned more about fostering an inclusive environment and diversity. She is sharing what she learned to foster inclusion on base, as well as in the community, with events highlighting Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Pride Month.

Master Sgt. Steve Brooks, a Religious Affairs Airman, shields the eyes of a 3-day-old newborn at RamsteinAir Base, Germany. The baby was born to evacuee parents and was receiving phototherapy for jaundice prior to a departing flight. ANG via Twitter

Master Sgt. Steve Brooks was one of 13 additional chaplains and religious affairs Airmen sent to care for AMC Airmen fulfilling the Operation Allies Refuge mission. In the photo above, he shields a three-day-old baby’s eyes from the sun at Ramstein AB, Germany—the baby, born to Afghan evacuee parents at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, received phototherapy for a case of jaundice at the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing’s Hangar 5 prior to boarding a flight.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Helbees Tawadrous, a 354th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, poses for a photo on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 10, 2021. Tawadrous grew up in Qena, a city on the banks of the Nile located in Upper Egypt. Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel Tamondong

Growing up in Egypt as a woman, a religious minority, and poor, Airman 1st Class Helbees Tawadrous didn’t see many options in life. But after moving near Ramstein Air Base in Germany, her Marine Corps veteran husband got a job with Stars and Stripes, and she was introduced to USAF. Seeing women in positions of authority and respect inspired her to enlist. Now, she’s a contracting specialist at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and hopes to become an officer.

2nd Lt. Felix Zhang and Senior Airman Emiliy Hosoya, a 4th Space Warning Squadron, look over software code on a laptop at Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2021. The pair are the only two reservists to complete the Supra Coder course, that teaches Airmen and Guardians how to develop computer-based applications. Tech. Sgt. Frank Casciotta

Second Lt. Felix Zhang and Senior Airman Emily Hosoya are the only two members of the Air Force Reserve to be “Supra Coders,” having graduated from an intensive three-month course that teaches students to become full stack developers,  who can perform front and back-end coding for developing software. The course is followed by a three-month internship with one of the Air Force’s innovation hubs. “All of our warfighting capabilities are reliant on software and communications,” said Zhang.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Williams, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons loading non-commissioned officer in charge, receives the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a deployed location Sept. 1, 2021, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Senior Airman David Busby

Master Sgt. Thomas Williams, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons loading noncommissioned officer in charge, received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a deployed location on Sept. 1, 2021. During a year-long deployment at Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan, Williams conducted 187 outside-the-wire missions mentoring the Afghan air force munitions squadron commander on munitions safety and personnel management.

Capt. Amber Hansen, commander of Global Activities Squadron Detachment 4 at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and Airman 1st Class Michael Mannozzi, who works in Religious Affairs at the 88th Air Base Wing Chaplain’s Office, competed against other highly qualified athletes throughout the Air Force for this prestigious award. USAF

Capt. Amber Hansen, commander of Global Activities Squadron Detachment 4 at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and Airman 1st Class Michael Mannozzi, who works in Religious Affairs at the 88th AB Wing Chaplain’s Office, were selected as the Air Force’s 2020 Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Hansen is an internationally ranked powerlifter, having qualified for U.S. Powerlifting Association elite status, while Mannozzi competed in the U.S. Olympic team trials as part of the 20-kilometer race walk.

Nadia Cain’s floor is covered with cards of thanks for Eglin Air Force Base’s Afghanistan veterans. Cain started a small letter-writing campaign to honor the vets as a reaction to the events in Afghanistan the week of Aug. 15. Courtesy

Nadia Cain, the 16 year old daughter of Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, started a letter- writing campaign to thank Eglin AFB, Fla., veterans who served in Afghanistan. Within two weeks she had some 100 letters from middle schoolers ready for delivery. Cain dropped off the letters and worked with Eglin to distribute them to Airmen. SMSgt. Jeremy Holcomb received one, and said, “It warmed my heart receiving letters from students in our local community.” Cain said she hopes to get her own school involved in another letter-writing campaign.