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Vandenberg recognizes Centurion Award winners

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Vandenberg Honor Guard prepares to post the colors during a Centurion Award presentation here March 3.  Seven Airmen were recipients of this prestigious award. Each Airman had to complete a total of 100 ceremonial details in support of the honor guard. This award is unique to Vandenberg; only 21 members have received the award since its inception. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Vandenberg Honor Guard prepares to post the colors during a Centurion Award presentation here March 3. Seven Airmen were recipients of this prestigious award. Each Airman had to complete a total of 100 ceremonial details in support of the honor guard. This award is unique to Vandenberg; only 21 members have received the award since its inception. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg's Honor Guard held its unique Centurion Award ceremony at the Vandenberg Honor Guard Training Facility here March 3. 

The Centurion Award was presented to seven honor guardsmen who, through their dedication and commitment, were each able to complete 100 ceremonial details in support of the honor guard. 

The award is unique to Vandenberg thanks to Master Sgt. Glenn McAlister, 30th Force Support Squadron first sergeant, who developed the award in 2006, when he was the base's honor guard program manager. 

Including the recent awardees, only 21 members have received the prestigious award since its inception. 

"It is worth making note of the difficulty of reaching the Centurion level of service, in view of the fact that a normal rotation on the team is one year," said Ret. Chief Master Sgt. Norm Marous, the first retired Air Force member to ever actively continue serving on an Air Force honor guard. "To reach the 100 detail level would require performances of an average of two details per week for every week considering, deployments, temporary duties, ancillary training, upgrade training, leave and etc. That is nearly impossible." 

The newest recipients of the Centurion Award are: 

1st Lt. Rafael Sanchez, 30th Space Wing 

1st Lt. Juan Siancastao, 1st Air and Space Test Squadron 

Master Sgt. Daniel Fernandez, 30th Force Support Squadron 

Staff Sgt. Luke Thelen, 30th Space Wing 

Staff Sgt. Dwight Jones, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron 

Staff Sgt. Jayavaraman Chea, 576th Flight Test Squadron 

Senior Airman Matthew Greenman, 576th Flight Test Squadron

 All of the award recipients received a plaque in recognition for their hard work and dedication. 

"This award represents every family that I have supported and all of the details that I have done during my three years with the honor guard," said 1st Lt. Rafael Sanchez, member of Vandenberg's Honor Guard. 

"Staffing an honor guard with talented, dedicated, energetic Airmen is always problematic," Mr. Marous said. "We will never have too many people for the mission. Please support us by sharing your talents and those of your unit members. Many of our own families will want these same honors someday and willing and able Airmen will be needed to make it happen." 

The ceremony concluded with the playing of the Air Force Song. 

The primary mission of the honor guard is to render military honors to Air Force members and their families during funeral services. 

For more information about the Vandenberg Honor Guard call Master Sgt. Daniel Fernandez, Vandenberg Honor Guard's program manager at 276-3654, or visit the honor guard Web site at www.30svs.com/fsox.html.