FARGO, N.D. — The North Dakota Air National Guard, known as the “Happy Hooligans”, recognized the organization’s top noncommissioned officers and unit members of the year March 2, during its 2018 Outstanding Airman of Year banquet, which was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo, N.D.
Fifteen Airmen were nominated for the awards based on their military and civic service throughout 2018, with three winners ultimately being honored as Outstanding Airman of the Year, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
A number of distinguished guests attended the event and were treated to entertainment by the North Dakota Army National Guard’s 188th Army Band. The North Dakota National Guard’s senior enlisted leader and the 119th Wing commander rendered remarks.
“Tonight is about honoring the group of Hooligans who were nominated for these awards and especially the three who won,” said Col. Darrin Anderson, 119th Wing commander, during his remarks. “Thank you for being valuable members of the Hooligan team. I need every Airman to understand and believe what you do matters. Your job matters and we succeed because this is a team effort.”
Senior leaders presented awards to Master Sgt. Kelly Rezac and Senior Master Sgt. Richard Duysen. Rezac was named Unit Career Advisor of the Year for his individual efforts and achievement with unit retention and career motivation program management. Duysen was named First Sergeant of the Year, which recognizes the important contributions and leadership qualities exhibited by first sergeants in the Air Force.
The award presentation honoring the three Outstanding Airmen of the Year winners followed: Airman 1st Class Gretchen Freed was named Outstanding Airman of the Year, Tech. Sgt. Robert Desilet was named Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Master Sgt. Jason Coalwell was named Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
Airman 1st Class Gretchen Freed
Airman 1st Class Gretchen Freed enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in September 2016 and serves as a crew chief in the 119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
Freed was raised in Henning, Minnesota and currently resides in Fargo. She graduated with a degree in business administration and a minor in special education from Mayville State University. She is pursuing a master’s degree in human resources from the University of Mary and expects to graduate in May 2020. Airman Freed is a human resource coordinator at Aldevron in Fargo.
Tech. Sgt. Robert Desilet
Tech. Sgt. Robert Desilet joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in December 2017 and serves in the 119th Operations Group.
Desilet was born in Hartford, Connecticut and raised in Manchester, Connecticut. He currently resides in West Fargo. He entered the Air Force in January 2009 at Westover ARB, Massachusetts. He completed technical training as an imagery analyst in October 2009. He wears an intelligence badge, a senior enlisted aircrew badge and is a 2012 graduate of the USAF Weapons School advanced instructor course.
Master Sgt. Jason Coalwell
Master Sergeant Jason Coalwell enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in May 1996 and serves in the 119th Security Forces Squadron.
Coalwell was born, raised, and currently resides in Detroit Lakes where he graduated from Detroit Lakes Community High School. He earned his Community College of the Air Force degree in criminal justice and is pursuing a business management degree from the University of Mary.