MAINE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Me. (Aug. 5, 2023) — Unfaltering; to never stop or lose strength, to not waver or weaken no matter the challenge. Members at the 101st are expected to be unfaltering in order to live up to the standard of excellence seen throughout the Bangor Air National Guard. One Airman who signifies an unfaltering will to succeed is none other than TSgt. Doug Pennington, a Radio Frequency Transmissions Systems expert at the 101st.
Pennington has been a member of the 101st since 2017, and in that time, he has been awarded an Air Force Commendation Medal and an Air Force Achievement Medal. The Air Force Commendation Medal is awarded to military members of any branch who have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service. The Air Force Achievement Medal is awarded to members for outstanding achievement of meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of the Air Force.
Pennington did not jump into the Air National Guard fresh out of high school though; he enlisted when he was 27 years old in order to carry on a family tradition. “There were two generations before my father that were in the military,” Pennington said. “My dad was the first one to not take that path, but it was something that I wanted to carry on and something that I knew I had a passion for. I didn’t want to wait too long and look back with regret on not enlisting when I had the chance.”
Among his already busy schedule with his job in radio frequency transmission systems, Pennington decided that he wanted to pick up the additional duty of being a First Sergeant. A First Sergeant’s duty is to advise commanders on the readiness, health, morale, welfare and quality of life of Airmen and families to ensure a mission-ready force.
“I really do have a passion for helping people,” Pennington said. “I think that this route will help me grow and benefit me as I continue to try and work my way up through leadership and see where that takes me.”
TSgt. Pennington draws from his past leadership as he continues to take on the challenges of being a First Sergeant for the 101st Communications Squadron. One person that he emulates and learns from is none other than our current Command Chief Master Sgt. Stanley Niedorowski
“He’s encouraged me to keep on the route of trying to work my way up through leadership,” Pennington said. “I have the utmost respect for him and what he’s done as our Command Chief. Being able to be at the level that he’s at and make the impact on people that he has is something that I strive for.”
One of TSgt. Pennington’s first assignments as a First Sergeant was to accompany other members of the 101st to the Cyber Yankee 2023 exercise this past May. In a time where physical defenses are no longer enough to ensure homeland security, it is time to look toward the cyberspace and the defenses necessary to navigate the dangers in this particular domain. The Cyber Yankee 2023 exercise was created to help sharpen service member’s skills in defending our cyberspace. This exercise was not only attended by Pennington and others from the Air National Guard, but also members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard from all around the country.
“The experience that I was able to get on that exercise was more than I was originally expecting,” said Pennington. “It was very eye-opening to be in that position. It gave me a whole new appreciation when it comes to different individuals and how there is definitely a whole lot more under the surface when it comes to getting to know the people in your unit from the perspective of a First Sergeant. It especially gave me a whole new outlook on life and how you should treat individuals and what may be going on behind the scenes for everyone.”
Throughout Pennington’s time at the 101st Communication Squadron, it has been apparent to those around him that he is a key contributor to the success of the squadron and their ability to not only meet mission requirements, but to exceed them.
“He’s just such a good all-around person,” said Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Grivois, a Senior Official at the 101st Communication Squadron. “He’s a good person to talk to and rely on, especially when it comes to helping other Airmen out and ensuring that our job gets done at the end of the day.”
“At the end of the day, you don’t need to be in a First Sergeant role to impact the lives of your fellow Airmen,” said TSgt. Pennington. “The impact that you have on other people and the relationships that you make are what’s going to last and create your legacy. It’s not going to be a computer that you fixed, or whatever else you can think of technical-wise. Those aren’t going to make the difference like the lasting memories that you leave behind because of the impact that you made during your time wearing the uniform.”
(U.S. Air National Guard Story by Senior Airman Erick Green)
|Date Posted:||08.06.2023 08:02|
|Location:||BANGOR, ME, US|