More than just a new ribbon

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Carl Clegg
  • 108th Wing
Remember a time when the team you played for won the championship trophy? Maybe it was baseball, football, cheerleading or for some, it was Dungeons and Dragons. You had a sense of pride - a real sense of accomplishment and that trophy symbolized that emotion. Consequently, Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard's 108th Wing can feel proud that the unit was recently awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for their exemplary performance from Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2014.

For some Airmen, this award may only mean a new ribbon to add to their rack, but for many around the Wing, it means much more because of the significance and the hard work it took to earn the award.

The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award was established more than 60 years ago and is the oldest Air Force unit award. According to Air Force Instructions 36-2803, The Air Force Military Awards and Decorations Program, the Outstanding Unit Award is awarded by the secretary of the Air Force to units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units.

The crowning achievement of the 108th Wing during the award time period was the Unit Effectiveness Inspection in May of 2014. At that time, the Wing received the highest score awarded to a unit in the new inspection system: Highly Effective.
"It is due entirely to the hard work and effort by this team out here," said the former 108th Wing commander, retired Col. Robert A. Meyer Jr. "We should all be very proud of ourselves. It is important to keep this momentum going. This is going to be the way of the future."

The medal is a symbol of what the 108th Wing Airmen have accomplished in the past, and what they can again achieve during their upcoming inspection.
It will take the Air Reserve Personnel Center one to two months to add the award to personnel's files and be visible on Virtual MPF. Once it is added, 108th Wing Airmen will then be authorized to wear the ribbon. In addition, depending on inventory, the ribbon will be provided to unit awards monitor to be distributed among the Wing. Please do not go by the 108th Flight Support Squadron to get this ribbon.