Back to Focus

10th AS pilot named ‘Military Person of the Year’

Texas native flew 117 sorties over four-month period

1st Lt. Adrian Gonzales, 10th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilot, was named the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington’s 2011 Military Person of the Year. /Staff Sgt. Frances Kriss

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

(62nd AW PA) - Hard work and dedication pays off as a pilot from the 10th Airlift Squadron was named the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington's 2011 Military Person of the Year.

1st Lt. Adrian Gonzales, a C-17 Globemaster III pilot, was nominated for the award by 62nd Airlift Wing leadership to compete against other military members in the state of Washington.

"I was pretty excited to find out I was nominated by the wing, but to be chosen for the award was very humbling," said Gonzales, a Texas native. "Considering that Washington has a very large military presence, I didn't think I'd win."

Each year since 1991, the free masons have recognized military members who they consider to be "the best of the best" in Washington. Gonzales was the Air Force winner for 2011.

"I'm proud of what Lieutenant Gonzales has done for our unit, and I am proud of what he has done to serve other organizations in the surrounding community," said Lt. Col. Clinton R. ZumBrunnen, 10th AS commander. "He takes service quite seriously."

Gonzales stood out because he outperformed his peers by flying 117 sorties, logging 265 hours of flight time, moving more than 4 million pounds of cargo, and transporting nearly 7,000 passengers in four months. This earned him the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron "Hard Charger" title for the period of May through August 2011. The award recognizes the pilot who accumulated the most missions and flight hours, and transported the most cargo and troops in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

In addition to his work performance, Gonzales also went above and beyond the call of duty during his time off.

"During the deployment, Lieutenant Gonzales dedicated his limited free time to serving others," said ZumBrunnen. "Humbly performing any task needed - from restocking the supply closet at the local USO to wiping down the sand covered pews where Soldiers came to pray before departing for combat - Lieutenant Gonzales continually asked, ‘How can I help?' He takes the same approach while we are at home station."

Gonzales said that his dedication both on- and off-duty stems from a strong work ethic and that the award is a validation of the strong community support of the military.

"It feels great to see how much the community supports us and continuously recognizes our hard work," he said. "It is so much more valuable than the award itself."

Gonzales is a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M University, Texas, where he majored in civil engineering construction. Following graduation, he attended Air and Space Basic Course at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He attended specialized undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and subsequently attended the C-17A Pilot Initial Qualification Program at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.

comments powered by Disqus