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Mental Health Airman wins Airlift/Tanker leadership award

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Senior Airman Cedric Williams, 99th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, stands in front of the Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Sept. 26, 2018. Williams was awarded the 2018 Airlift/Tanker Association Young Leadership Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Sarver)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.- --

Each year the Airlift/Tanker Association Young Leadership Award recognizes 12 outstanding individuals who will likely become leaders within the air mobility community.

Each Air Force major command submitted one officer and one enlisted service member.

The Air Combat Command selected Senior Airman Cederic Williams, a mental health technician assigned to the 99th Medical Operations Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as the enlisted service member, who went on to win for 2018. 

“To me, this award means a lot,” said Williams. “It means I have an extraordinary team at Behavioral Health Optimization Program and Mental Health who believe in me and push me to always be better. It also means I’m progressing – not only as an Airman, but as a leader.”

Williams championed a self-assessment program for the 99th MDOS that fixed two internal deficiencies, trained base agencies on patient de-escalation, and also provided psychological first aid during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, which stands as the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

In addition to showing excellence in his work environment, Williams also completed higher education requirements by obtaining his Associates in Applied Science degree in mental health from the Community College of the Air Force.

“I still have a long way to go until I become the leader I know I can be because this award isn’t the ultimate goal,” said Williams. “It’s a sign that I’m headed down the right path, and I plan on using this as a guiding light through my career to show I can always be better than I was the day before.”

In the next few weeks, Williams’ time at Nellis will come to a close as the Air Force has reassigned him to Misawa Air Base, Japan. His journey here may end, but he will continue to strive to lead overseas.