HomeNewsArticle Display

Department of the Air Force announces the 12 Outstanding Airmen for 2021

Graphic of a silhouette of Airmen walking across flight line.

Air Force officials have selected the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Kiana Pearson

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

Air Force officials have selected the service’s top enlisted members, naming the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021.

An Air Force selection board at the Air Force’s Personnel Center considered 35 nominees who represented major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies and Headquarters Air Force. The board selected the 12 Airmen based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements.

Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year (alphabetically, by command of assignment when selected):

  •  Senior Master Sergeant Marcus D. Banks, Pacific Air Forces
  •  Technical Sergeant Christopher M. Bennett, Air Education and Training Command
  •  Technical Sergeant Justin D. Bennett, USAFE-AFAFRICA
  •  Technical Sergeant Kelli A. Floyd, Air Combat Command
  •  Staff Sergeant Valerie M. Graw, Air Force Materiel Command
  •  Staff Sergeant Colleen F. Mitchell, Air Force District of Washington
  •  Senior Airman Giovanni Pacheco, Airman Support United States Space Force
  •  Staff Sergeant Kristy L. Riley, Air Force Reserve Command
  •  Staff Sergeant Alex M. Sandmann, Air Force Global Strike Command
  •  Senior Master Sergeant Mark R. Schneider II, Air National Guard
  •  Senior Airman Jamonica M. Smith, Air Mobility Command
  •  Master Sergeant Hannah E. Walters, Air Force Special Operations Command

The winners are authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon with the bronze service star device on the ribbon. They are also authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year badge for one year from the date of formal presentation.

The MAJCOM nominee list is available on myPers > Recognition >Special Trophies and Awards or select the active-duty enlisted category from the dropdown menu and search “12 OAY.”