Air Force names 2016 Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award recipients

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons
  • Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
Air Force officials have named four Airmen as the 2016 Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award winners.

The award was first presented in 1981 and named in honor of the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor. Today, it recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability.

Capt. Lance P. Sijan was shot down over Vietnam Nov. 9, 1967, and evaded capture for 45 days despite severe injuries. He later died while in a Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp and was presented the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism.

The 2016 award winners are as follows:

Senior Officer Category: Lt. Col. Derrick J. Weyand
Weyand led 1,800 personnel in 10 squadrons and four geographically separated units securing $18 billion of Protection Level-1 assets supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He led U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s largest contract at $362 million, and added two additional GSUs resulting in 20 percent of all combat missions and 30 percent of all air refueling missions in Allied Forces Central Europe. Additionally, Weyand directed the build-up for Operation Inherent Resolve and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Syria, supporting 104 deployed aircraft, four services and six coalition countries.

Junior Officer Category: Capt. Austin T. Almand
Almand led a flight of Air Force Special Operators and set the standard by leading his unit's employment of a 25-man unilateral rescue force during tactical planning and rehearsal for a contingency mission. Additionally, Almand deployed as the deputy commander of a regional special operations joint task force where he coordinated, synchronized and led the dismantling of a persistent terrorist organization that had plagued a country for more than 20 years.

Senior Enlisted Category: Sgt. Daly
Daly was handpicked to stand up the Air Force Installation Mission Support Center, authoring the provisional plan, leading the largest business process-reengineering event resulting in the mapping of 70 processes and 110 recommendations shaping 29 capabilities. Daly dual hatted as Security Forces Manager and Operations Superintendent leading 298 active duty, 15 civilians, securing 75,000 personnel, five Wings, and $6.9 billion in assets. His Airmen won a higher headquarters, two wing, and four mission support group annual awards, along with eight superior performers and two team Inspector General Awards.

Junior Enlisted Category: Staff Sgt. Ryan J. Holmes
While deployed for Operation Resolute Support, Holmes’ courage under fire led to the safe extraction of wounded American and Afghan personnel. Additionally, Holmes acted as the sole joint terminal attack controller, supporting two separate Special Forces teams in which he controlled more than 250 fixed and rotary wing aircraft on more than 28 missions. His steadfast commitment to excellence resulted in his selection as a Distinguished Graduate at Airman Leadership School.

Winners are authorized to wear the Air Force Recognition Ribbon and a presentation ceremony will be conducted at a later date.

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