Silver Star, six Bronze Stars presented to Alaska Air National Guardsmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger
  • 176 WG
One Silver Star Medal and six Bronze Star Medals were handed out here May 18 to men of valor from the Alaska Air National Guard's 212 Rescue Squadron.

One of the five Alaska Guardsmen, Staff Sgt. Bill Cenna, received the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars for his actions on three separate occasions.

"These guys intensified the Air Force core value of service before self," said Col. Donald "Scott" Wenke, commander of the 176 Wing. "But that's what they do every day. They're true heroes in the purest form."

The medals were presented for actions from the 212 Rescue Squadron's deployments in 2011 and 2012. The Guardsmen worked with military members from multiple branches and countries.

"Given the character and caliber of all the men being recognized, it does not surprise me that we're here today to highlight their actions while they rescued or recovered fellow combatants in high-threat areas," said Maj. Joseph Conroy, commander of the 212 Rescue Squadron.

The Silver Star Medal is the third-highest award given for combat valor. It is presented under authority of the President "to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, is cited for gallantry in action." The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth-highest combat award presented in the United States.

"All of us in the military share in the profession of arms," Conroy said before the last medals were presented. "Although individuals are being recognized today, we all share in the ceremony. We must remain ready, reliable and relevant."