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OAY 2012 goes to Hollywood

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kimberly Holman
  • 146AW
This year's Outstanding Airman of the Year Awards Banquet was an elegant occasion hosted by the 146th's Airlift Wing, whose roots and history have earned them the nickname of the "Hollywood Guard". So it was very appropriate that the event took place in the hills of Hollywood at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City on Jan. 21, 2012.

Themed with a red carpet entrance for a night at the Academy Awards, guests were greeted by paparazzi snapping their photos next to golden over-sized "Oscars" carved in the shape of National Guard Minutemen as they arrived.

But not unlike any other OAY ceremony held by the Air National Guard, despite all the glamour, the tables were bedecked with noisemakers and horns to rival a New Year's Eve celebration, and as soon as the awards began, the room was on its feet to congratulate the nominees and became as boisterous as ever, even in their formal attire.

"We Airmen like to get a little rowdy," said Chaplain Lt. Col. Mike Beyer of the 162nd Combat Communications Group, whose unit took home three of the four awards handed out that night. "But it's only appropriate that we have such great fun recognizing their achievements. These are the best of the best and their excellence excites and inspires us all." Chaplain Beyer was seen amongst all the rowdies throughout the evening, exemplifying the spirit of celebration.