The Air National Guard (ANG) is comprised of more than 106,000 uniformed members. Only a few can shine above the rest and uphold the value of excellence as Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
Every year, the ANG recognizes an individual who personifies the highest qualities of leadership, job performance, and the whole Airman concept. This year, Tech. Sgt. Jessica R. Brazionis, 217th Air Communications Squadron (ACOMS) information systems security manager, was awarded the ANG’s Outstanding Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year for 2022.
It has been more than 30 years since a member of the Battle Creek ANG Base won in the NCO category at the national level competition.
“Tech. Sgt. Brazionis sets a tremendous example of what it means to be an NCO,” said Capt. Jonathan M. Johnson, 217th ACOMS director of operations and Brazionis’ supervisor. “She is a key crew member that has helped our team reach new levels of performance.”
Her position advises the 217th Air Operations Group and 217th ACOMS commanders on all cyber security matters related to the Air Operations Center Weapon System (AOCWS). The system is the senior command and control element of the U.S. Air Force Theater Air Control System and provides operational-level command and control of air, space, and cyberspace operations.
“I have a passion for helping others and seeing the team succeed,” said Brazionis. “I consistently seek opportunities to work within the team and assist others. I feel very fortunate to achieve this award.”
One of her noteworthy accomplishments was leading a year-long project with the Defense Information Systems Agency and U.S. Air Forces in Europe to construct a Michigan Adjutant General high-priority $250,000 secure coalition network. She also accelerated outside her job by securing the first-ever Air Operations Center (AOC) enterprise integration of three U.S. Army Battlefield Coordination Detachment virtual command and control systems. Her foresight provided an increased joint fire capability while decreasing synchronized airspace and targeting de-confliction timelines by more than 90%.
“Brazionis is one of the most superb NCOs I have ever had the privilege of working with,” Johnson said. “Her dedication to the mission and positive attitude with which she works is infectious. She also matches that mission-centric attitude with an equal amount of enthusiasm for taking care of Airman. She is an amazing wingman for every Airman, not just those in the squadron, but around the Michigan Air National Guard.”
In addition to her 217th ACOMS position, she volunteers as a sexual assault victim advocate who has represented more than 1,000 ANG members. She increased the visibility of the victim advocate program by educating military and civilian members at professional development events across Michigan.
“I am very humbled by the entire experience,” Brazionis said. “I would like to recognize my entire team at the 217th ACOMS. Without them, none of this could have been possible. I am immensely grateful for their knowledge, patience, and mentorship.”
Looking to the future, she hopes to keep pursuing excellence by achieving higher education and expanding her knowledge within the AOC and outside of her career field.
“My biggest advice to Airmen on excelling is to continuously learn by asking questions and using knowledgeable resources to better oneself and their team,” Brazionis said. “Stay focused, work hard, never give up, and you will achieve success!”