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Those Mysterious "Of The Year" Awards

Those Mysterious "Of The Year" Awards

When you went to the Wing Conference last year in Las Vegas - I'm assuming that you did, of course - did you happen to notice all of those fellow Nevada Wing members being called forward by the Wing Commander and receiving those plaques for their selection as an "Of The Year"? Did you wonder how they got those and maybe how YOU could get one? Well, I'm here to help ease your pondering by telling you how the process works!

First, work hard all year in your chosen category. If I counted right, there are 26 individuals awards and 3 squadron awards. And yes, you could qualify for more than one award, too. That's a BUNCH of opportunity! How do you qualify? Oftentimes the criteria for each award is explained in the regulation applicable to the category. For example, the Aerospace Education awards are covered in CAPR 50-11, CAP Aerospace Education Mission. Another spot to investigate requirements would be CAPR 39-3 which cross-references to several categories. Of course, it's good to know the regulations pertaining to your areas of interest and/pr assignment in any case, but you'll find information there about awards too. 

Next, if you think you have at least met the qualifications - preferably exceeded them - submit a CAP Form (CAPF) 120. There are exceptions to this; occasionally, a different application procedure is called for, but the details will be outlined in the criteria for the award. Please DO NOT just get online and submit through eServices. If you do, the Awards Review Board (we'll get to that in a minute) will possibly not see the submission. Did you know that ANYONE can apply for an award for themselves or someone else? It doesn't have to be your Commander. In fact, your Commander would probably appreciate your help since he or she can't know every single thing all the time. Plus preparing 26-odd award submissions can take a lot of time and effort for one person. 

After you have your CAPF 120 ready to go, submit it in hard copy form to your Commander. In the preceding paragraph I mentioned not to submit through eServices. Why? Because Nevada Wing has an Awards Review Board to review the awards submissions and make recommendations to the Wing Commander for selection. 

At the time of this writing, the Board consists of Lt. Col. Deb Pierce (Chair), Lt. Col. Shyle Irigoin, Lt. Col. Bob Dulinawka, and Lt. Col. Shawn Brewer. All of these people were specifically appointed by the Wing Commander based on their experience and expertise. 

The Board reads every single submission, evaluating them against the award criteria AND against each other. If the CAPF 120 goes straight to eServices, the Board doesn't have access to the verbiage of the 120 or any supporting documentation. The Board members have to read the submissions, read the regulations to ensure the nominees meet the basic criteria, and confer with each other regarding nominee qualifications - either in person or by conference call. 

Once the Board has agreed on their recommendations, the Wing Commander receives the award recommendations for her review. The final decisions regarding award recipients are entirely those of the Wing Commander. Once she has made her selections, she notifies the Board so that the applicable plaques, certificates, et cetera, can be ordered in time for the Wing Conference banquet.

As you can see, the award process is rather time consuming. But you can help. Work with your Commander to select the people in your squadrons to be nominated. Help write the award submissions if you happen to be a wordsmith. If you ARE writing a submission or two, be sure to tell the story about why the person deserves to the award. Provide facts and figures, write in narrative form rather than bullet points. A publication from NHQ, CAPP 39-3, Awards Made Easy, can be a big help in constructing that narrative. Use Microsoft Word for the CAPF 120 so that an edit can be made later if need be. Now, the deadline for Commander-approved submissions to the Awards Review Board this year is Friday, August 17th. A memo from the Chair of the Awards Review Board is forthcoming with detailed information about all of the awards, so be sure to look for it. If you don't see it posted, ask your Commander for it. 

YOU - or another deserving member - could be walking up to the front of the banquet room to receive an award this year. YOU can make it happen. 

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