931st NCO named 2011 AFRC outstanding enlisted aircrew NCO
Master Sgt. James Guldjord, a boom operator assigned to the 18th Air Refueling Squadron, 931st Air Refueling Group, McConnell Air Force Base, KS, was named AFRC Outstanding Enlisted Aircrew Member of the Year in the NCO category for 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo)
by Brannen Parrish
931st ARG Public Affairs
3/30/2012 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- An Airman from the 931st Air Refueling Group was named Outstanding Enlisted Aircrew member of the year in the NCO category by Air Force Reserve Command, March 30.
Master Sgt. James Guldjord, a boom operator, 18th Air Refueling Squadron, is from San Diego. He has more than ten years of active duty and Reserve service as a boom operator. He was recently hired as an Air Reserve Technician with the 931st Air Refueling Group.
Over the past five years as a Reservist, Guldjord said he has been able to hone his skills and knowledge and to pass it along to younger aircrew members.
"I've spent ten years as a 'boomer' and I'm pretty happy doing it," he said. "I really like training new folks. You get a chance to have a positive impact on younger Airmen and pass down some of your knowledge."
Lt. Col. Tony Brusca, commander of the 18th Air Refueling Squadron, said it is fitting that Guldjord receive this honor.
"He is the fourth member of the 18th Air Refueling Squadron to be named AFRC Outstanding Enlisted Aircrew Member of the Year, and just like the previous winners, he's much more than simply a great aircrew member. He's also a dedicated team player," said Brusca.
Brusca then shared a story illustrating Guldjord's dedication to service.
"Once while in Guam, we had some down time and the members of his crew went out to play golf and scuba dive," said Brusca. "Master Sgt. Guldjord knew we needed to have our computers in the staff area upgraded. He worked with computers in his civilian job and knew how to do the upgrade. Instead of going out to have fun, he stayed behind and did the upgrade work, which directly contributed to our mission accomplishment. That's the kind of Airman he is. Anything you ask of him, he makes it happen. We are very fortunate to have him in the squadron."
Col. William H. Mason, commander, 931st Air Refueling Group, said the recognition is appropriate for the value Guldjord provides as an enlisted leader.
"This award is well-deserved recognition for Master Sgt. Guldjord. He is a true professional and an invaluable asset to the 931st Air Refueling Group and the Air Force Reserve," said Mason. "My sincerest congratulations to him, and I wish him the best of luck as he goes forward to compete at the Air Force level."
In the past year, Guldjord has deployed to Southwest Asia to support refueling operations. He holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and was recently selected to participate in an exchange program with the British Royal Air Force.
Brian Locke, a former coworker from Guldjord's days as a system support representative with the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, said Guldjord has always worked hard.
"It's really a great accomplishment. I'm not surprised at all that he won," said Locke. "James is a phenomenal worker. He is truly deserves it."
Master Sgt. Guldjord will now compete for the Air Force Staff Sgt. Henry "Rod" Erwin Outstanding Enlisted Aircrew Member of the Year award.