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News > Air Force recognizes EOD technician for efforts
Air Force recognizes EOD technician for efforts

Posted 1/17/2008   Updated 1/17/2008 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Joshua Stevens
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

1/17/2008 - ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- An Ellsworth Airman was notified Jan. 7, that he won the Air Force 2007 Major General Eugene A. Lupia Civil Engineering Military Technician of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the explosive ordnance disposal career field.

Master Sgt. Anthony Blackmon, 28th Civil Engineering Squadron EOD flight chief, beat representatives from each Major command to earn the honor which will be awarded at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., later this year.

"Master Sgt. Blackmon leads by example, cares about his troops and their families and is always looking to make things better for those around him," said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Cronan Jr., 28th CES Readiness and Emergency Management flight chief.

The feat of winning this award comes from consistent, well-rounded achievements that benefit not only the individual, but the Air Force as well.

With an award period that spanned from October 2006 to September 2007, Sergeant Blackmon racked up accomplishments in the five critical areas needed to win the Lupia award: job performance, management ability, technical competence, initiative and resourcefulness.

"I was deployed from December 2006 to July 2007 to Baghdad," Sergeant Blackmon said. "While there, I was coined by the commander of EOD Mobile Unit 3 and won an award of excellence from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team commander."

Having the ability to take charge of situations, and rapidly implementing tactical decisions is a key part of the criteria for this award.

"It really takes a great deal of leadership efforts," he said. "You need to be able to hold your bearing [in a combat environment] and react under fire. They are both strong attributes to winning this award."

"One of the most important things Sergeant Blackmon has done, is take the lessons learned from his many deployments and passed that knowledge to his troops, ensuring they are ready and successful when they go downrange," Chief Cronan said.

"He's some of the best leadership we've had in the shop since we've been here," said Staff Sgt. Dustin Jolman, EOD technician craftsman. "He's easy to talk to and knows enough to help noncommissioned officers and first term Airmen prepare for deployments and upgrade training."

Along with deploying, Sergeant Blackmon supported the Secret Service while on a temporary duty to Georgia.

"I was coined by the Secret Service team lead of former President Jimmy Carter for my efforts, and got the opportunity to meet and be thanked by him," Sergeant Blackmon said.

Sergeant Blackmon credits the career field, itself, for his victory.

"In EOD our motto is 'initial success or total failure,'" he said. "You need to get it right the first time. This job is about perfection - we can't afford to make mistakes. You must be able to think outside-the-box."

In true leadership style, Sergeant Blackmon offered advice to those Airmen who would like to chart similar career paths.

"Definitely have a role model," Sergeant Blackmon said. "Look for one who sets the way to operate, and push yourself to operate like that mentor. Also, know your job well, and if there's something you don't know, force yourself to learn it. You can learn laterally by finding topics close to your job. It will help you understand your career field better."

He remains humble about the accolade.

"I think Master Sgt. Blackmon would deflect any credit and say it was the team around him that led to his individual success," Chief Cronan said.

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