USAF Announces 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021

The Air Force on July 12 announced the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021. 

An Air Force selection board considered 35 nominees representing each of the major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies, and Headquarters Air Force. The winning 12 were selected based on “superior leadership, job performance, and personal achievements,” according to a USAF release.

Here are this year’s winners: 

  • Senior Master Sgt. Marcus D. Banks, Pacific Air Forces
  • Tech. Sgt. Christopher M. Bennett, Air Education and Training Command
  • Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Bennett, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa
  • Tech. Sgt. Kelli A. Floyd, Air Combat Command
  • Staff Sgt. Valerie M. Graw, Air Force Materiel Command
  • Staff Sgt. Colleen F. Mitchell, Air Force District of Washington
  • Senior Airman Giovanni Pacheco, Airman Support United States Space Force
  • Staff Sgt. Kristy L. Riley, Air Force Reserve Command
  • Staff Sgt. Alex M. Sandmann, Air Force Global Strike Command
  • Senior Master Sgt. Mark R. Schneider II, Air National Guard
  • Senior Airman Jamonica M. Smith, Air Mobility Command
  • Master Sgt. Hannah E. Walters, Air Force Special Operations Command

The Outstanding Airman of the Year program debuted at AFA’s 10th annual National Convention in 1956, and the association has continued to shine a spotlight on the outstanding Airmen from each major command every year since.

The Air Force Association will recognize this year’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year during its Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., in September.