NEWS | Sept. 9, 2021

JBAB Airmen nominated for 2021 Tuskegee Airmen award

By Benjamin Matwey 11th Wing and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs

Three Airmen from the 11th Wing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling were nominated at the wing level for the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., National Military Awards.

The Tuskegee awards are presented annually to one field grade officer, one company grade officer, one senior NCO, and one NCO or Airman who exhibit outstanding performance on the job in professional achievement and development and in community or public service.

“These awards, although competitive, are intended to recognize not only the actual awardees, but also those who were nominated,” the Tuskegee Airmen website states.

“The nominees are military personnel who have demonstrated exceptional competence, leadership and achievement. Their contributions must not only cover their superior performance while on military duty, but should also cover contributions to their respective communities.”

The 11th Wing submitted nominees in three award categories.

Maj. Justin Boyd, United States Air Force Honor Guard; Master Sgt. Brian Ogbonnaya, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron; and Staff Sgt. Erica Frazier, 811th Force Support Squadron, will now compete at the Air Force District of Washington direct-reporting unit and major command level.

General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Military Award – Field Grade Officer

Boyd, whose hometown is Miami, is the director of operations for the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard. He was nominated for the General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Military Award for field grade officers.

He has a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Miami, Florida, and a Master of Science in cyber security from the University of Maryland.

This past year, he led 322 Honor Guard members across 13 different work centers to accomplish more than 3,000 Air Force and Space Force missions.

Despite the pandemic and elevated security concerns in the National Capital Region during the inauguration period, he coordinated 11 simultaneous events on Inauguration Day welcoming in the new commander in chief.

“(The pandemic and political climate) caused elevated security and health concerns for what is already a complex affair,” said Boyd. “Despite these challenges, we were able to plan and execute a flawless inauguration, thus preserving this 200-year tradition.”

To help develop others, Boyd mentored more than 30 Airmen, teaching advanced finance, investing, and stress-management skills to help build stronger and more resilient Airmen and leaders.

Boyd organized and led a Memorial Day beautification project of 98 base members who put in 768 man-hours to clean, clear and improve a 639-acre area. He also managed a White House holiday tour event to help increase morale for 80 Airmen and their families.

After this special duty assignment with the Honor Guard, Boyd will return to developmental engineering with the U.S. Space Force.

Chief Master Sergeant Fred Archer Military Award – Senior NCO

Ogbonnaya, a New York City native who was raised in Houston, Texas, is the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron operations engineering superintendent. He was nominated for the Chief Master Sgt. Fred Archer Military Award for senior NCOs.

He has an Associate in Applied Science in project management from the Community College of the Air Force and is attending Columbia Southern University online where he has obtained 115 credits as a full-time student majoring in organizational leadership. 

He guided a team of 25 members as the entire civil engineer unit transitioned from the Public Works Department under the Navy to the 11th CES under the Air Force. In approximately six months, his team corrected a 10-year fire safety infraction, created base civil engineer guidance, and trained 90 percent of the base’s building managers on new procedures.

To further his capabilities, he earned the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century “Black Belt” and completed the 45-hour Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education course.

He served one month as an additional-duty first sergeant and led many health and welfare inspections. He was the driving force behind a squadron cookout that brought 75 families together.

At Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, he served as the vice president of the Top III a private organization run by senior NCOs, creating numerous programs and events to help shape nearly 250 senior NCOs on the base. He also helped JBAB support the 2021 presidential inauguration by aligning base support activities with seven organizations and the Air Force District of Washington.   

In his downtime, he started a podcast for retired and active-duty military members that tackles issues like diversity and inclusion, depression, suicide prevention and military leadership.

Ogbonnaya was approached by a former wingman with the idea of starting the podcast, and said he thought it was great way to reconnect and receive firsthand testimony on the military challenges of transitioning and related experiences.

“We wanted to provide a platform that both veterans and active duty could engage in to discuss insecurities, leadership, resiliency, adversity and other topics without it feeling forced or scripted,” he said.

Senior Master Sgt. Margaret Frances Barbour Military Award – NCO/Airman

Frazier, whose hometown is Kansas City, Missouri, is the 811th Force Support Squadron unit deployment and training manager. She was nominated for the Senior Master Sgt. Margaret Frances Barbour Military Award for NCOs and Airmen.

She has a CCAF Associate in Applied Science in Aviation Management and is working on a bachelor’s in marketing with a minor in business at the University of Maryland Global Campus.

“Staff Sergeant Frazier is a dedicated and humble person that truly cares for her community, and the members she supports. She continuously and selflessly volunteers for any mentorship opportunity or community outreach program and shares them with others. Moreover, she takes time to support our military members by ensuring each individual’s deployment preparations are worked around family and daycare needs. She truly is an inspiring U.S. Air Force member,” said her supervisor, Master Sgt. John Hunter, 811th FSS Readiness Flight chief.

Frazier manages 71 people including uniformed military and civilians. One of the year’s biggest challenges she managed was the transition from the Advanced Distribution Learning System to MyLearning, a change that impacted the majority of Air Force personnel. With ADLS gone, her squadron opted to transfer from using the Air Force Training Record program to track on-the-job training to using Training Business Area, and she brought her prior knowledge of TBA to help make the transition successful.

“My greatest impact I feel that I’ve made is being able to manage the training program and train my fellow wingmen to be more knowledgeable to better execute the mission on a daily basis,” said Frazier.

She volunteers with base and local community organizations, to include the African American Heritage Committee, the Prince Georges County Business Roundtable, the Capital Area Food Bank, and Dine11, a local non-profit organization that buys meals from struggling local restaurants with donated funds and delivers to hospital workers to lift morale during the current pandemic.

On base, Frazier volunteered as a spokesperson for the upcoming Unity Fest, a morale-building festival planned by JBAB for different cultural committees on base to spread awareness about their cultures and diversity.

She also completed the 12-hour Sexual Assault and Response Training program to enable her to help survivors of sexual assault.

Information on the Tuskegee Airmen awards can be found on the Air Force Personnel Center website.

Details on the Tuskegee Airmen award can be found on the TAI website.