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Honor an airman who leads, inspires

Apr. 17, 2013 - 03:51PM   |  
Master Sgt. Brandon Lambert, the Air Force winner of the 2012 Military Times Service Member of the Year Award, said receiving the honor gave a boost to his career.
Master Sgt. Brandon Lambert, the Air Force winner of the 2012 Military Times Service Member of the Year Award, said receiving the honor gave a boost to his career. (Colin Kelly / Staff)
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Nominate a Service Member of the Year

Who’s eligible: Active-duty, Air Guard or reservists through August 2013.
Achievement criteria: Positive actions performed on and off duty during 2012.
The prize: A trip to Washington, D.C., for two, culminating in an award ceremony on Capitol Hill. The winner is also featured in Air Force Times.
Who can nominate: Fellow service members, commanders, parents and spouses.
How to nominate: militarytimes.com/smoy.
Deadline: April 28.

Nominations are open for the 2013 Service Member of the Year award and Military Times is looking for everyday heroes, those airmen who inspire their colleagues every day.

Anyone — from parents and spouses to fellow service members, supervisors and commanding officers — can nominate active-duty, Air National Guard or Reserve airmen. Nominees should demonstrate exemplary service and also have made a significant impact within their community in 2012. Airmen should still be serving through August 2013.

Winners will receive a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in July, where they will tour the nation’s capital and attend an award ceremony with the military’s top leaders.

For Master Sgt. Brandon Lambert, being named the Service Member of the Year for the Air Force last year gave his career a boost, especially when it came time for his enlisted performance report.

Lambert was nominated for the award while working as a digital maintenance specialist in the 728th Air Control Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Since then he has cross-trained into an in-demand career field, cyber defense operator, and moved to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Winning the honor helped Lambert earn a very strong EPR, which will play a role as he goes for senior master sergeant.

The award ceremony was one of the best experiences he’s had in his career, Lambert said.

“It was good to meet some key leaders in our military forces, as well as local congressmen showing support,” he said.

Lambert was nominated for the award by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7674 in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., based on his service in Afghanistan and involvement in the community in ways such as running food drives and a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Since the ceremony last summer, Lambert has been adjusting to his new job, which he said is what he has wanted to do since he joined the Air Force 15 years ago.

“As a SNCO [senior noncommissioned officer], I thought I could not only learn something that can boost my career, both in and outside of the Air Force, I can also bring a leadership element to a newly developing career field,” Lambert said. “So far I am enjoying the mission.”

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