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Scott Airman awarded by Air Force Association

Posted 10/5/2011   Updated 10/5/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

10/5/2011 - Scott Air Force Base, Ill. -- The Air Force Association awarded Airman 1st Class Gerald Campbell, Jr., with its first-ever "Schimmoler Award" during their annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 19.

Campbell is a radio transmission systems journeyman from the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and was honored "for his excellence, leadership, and duty performance during an operational or unit-level mission both home and abroad."

The award was named after Lauretta M. Schimmoler, a registered nurse and pilot who originally created the Aerial Nurse Corps of America in 1936. The organization struggled for years and never gained official recognition by the military. But the Corps proved their concept and today is recognized as the original flight nurses and the model for the AF Flight Nurse Corps.

On a daily basis, the Radio Transmission Systems element handles all the communication support for the squadron from computers to radios.

"We provide the tools to communicate from field hospital to the massive staging facility to a hospital to the final destination in Germany," he said. "If it wasn't for us, all those people transporting the wounded members would be out of the loop with each other. We help them so that they know what to expect and can plan ahead."

According to Campbell's supervisor, Staff Sgt. Thomas Kneller, the unit submitted A1C Campbell because of his hard work and dedication to the mission.

"I admire his professional attitude and passion for involving himself in the community," said Kneller. "Campbell has taken every opportunity provided to him to not only better himself, but to better the squadron as well."

Campbell said he feels his leadership set him up for success by providing the tools that allowed him perform his job to the best of his ability.

"I feel lucky to be at the bottom of the rank structure in his office," he said. "Being at the bottom means I have a lot of people to look up to and learn from. I am fortunate to have people in the squadron who do the right thing and direct me to excel.

"I think the squadron has not only helped raise me but the other Airmen here on how to do things right."

He said the award means a lot, not just because he's the first, it's a reflection of a team accomplishment.

"It should be a team award," he said. "There's no way I could have achieved anything that went into me receiving this award without someone's help."

Campbell said he also learned an important aspect of leadership from Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., Air Mobility Command commander, who spoke at the conference about how important it is to recognize the accomplishments of Airman.

"I want to be a supervisor one day," he said. "I realized that when you have someone who is willing and able, you should put them in a position to do great things, be successful and encourage them to step-up and accept responsibility. I feel like that would make a better Air Force if we all were to step-up to that next level."

Col. Michael Hornitschek, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, added that "While the Schimmoler Award is brand new, the showcase performance and care that the men and women of the 375th AES provide 24/7 is not. The professionalism and dedication that Airman Campbell displays truly embodies our motto of 'Help From Above.' He helps us fulfill our 375th Air Mobility Wing vision of creating award-winning support for the warfighter always."

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