2010 airforce Times
Honorable Mentions

Master Sgt. Tikwan Garland

Born and raised in Waukegan, Ill.; married and father of two.

Garland knows just how important details are.

In his job, Garland helps manage the office to the assistant vice chief of staff and director of Air Force Staff — security, personnel, equipment and travel — and advises senior officials on the morale and welfare of enlisted airmen, non-commissioned officer leadership and training.

He’s so good at the particulars that the Air Force handpicked him to escort 800 people — many of them members of Congress — to the inauguration of President Obama last year.

As busy as he is, Garland still finds time to give career advice to younger non-commissioned officers — so far, 15 airmen count him as their mentor — and to lead the Pentagon’s Airmen Unit Fund, which pays for fun activities for the 2,000 enlisted airmen assigned to headquarters, said retired Army Maj. Riley A. Jacobs, who nominated Garland.

Outside the office, Garland is just as active. He organized a two-mile run that raised $17,000 for heart research, saved a homeowner from foreclosure as president of a 212-member homeowners association, helped establish a neighborhood watch program and collaborated with a local power company to restore broken street lights to increase safety and reduce crime, Jacobs said.

“He does this kind of thing not for personal recognition,” Jacobs said, “but simply because he is a leader in keeping [with] the highest standards of those in uniform.”

Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple

Born in Scullton, Pa.

Temple was struck by how simple the request was: The 8-year-old Afghan boy wanted a pen from him.

The boy inspired Temple, with the help of his wife at home in Tampa, Fla., to coordinate a school supply drive for the children of Afghanistan.

Schools, universities, churches and civic groups in 12 states donated more than 700 boxes of pens, paper and stuffed toys.

And it was Temple who spearheaded a plan that transformed an unused mosque into a library.

Throughout his yearlong deployment, Temple gave a "voice and a face" to countless U.S. military members through weekly radio stories that aired on the Tampa National Public Radio affiliate, said Earl Quenneville, who listened to the reports and nominated Temple. Temple also wrote a blog of his experiences that received the 2010 MilBlog award for the Air Force category.

In the war zone, Temple served as convoy commander, gunner or driver in 180 mounted combat-patrol missions and led a nine-man team against an insurgent ambush during a humanitarian mission. He received the Bronze Star for his actions.

"One villager at a time, he has shown the Afghan people America's compassion, strength, sacrifice and generosity," said Joseph Burns, who worked with Temple at 6th Air Mobility Wing.