NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, NIAGARA FALLS – New York Air National Guard Master Sgt. Michael Owczarczak of Medina has been named Outstanding Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year for the 5,800- member New York Air National Guard.
Owczarczak, a combat veteran, serves as the unit training manager of the 107th Attack Wing’s Security Forces Squadron, based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
Owczarczak was selected for the award by a board made up of senior enlisted leaders from across the New York Air National Guard.
The New York National Guard picks four Airmen of the Year annually in the categories of First Sergeant, Airman, Non-Commissioned Officer and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.
“Sergeant Owczarczak distinguishing himself as a resilient and strategic leader built for success, “said Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson, the senior enlisted leader for the New York Air National Guard.
Owczarczak enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 1998 and served as a combat medic assigned to the 105th Military Police Company in Buffalo. He joined the New York Air National Guard and the 107th Security Forces Squadron in 2001.
In September 2019, Owczarczak deployed to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, where he served as superintendent of plans and programs. He coordinated efforts to protect equipment valued at $3 billion, and led a joint, Norwegian and American response force to help secure airfield perimeter defense, safeguarding 4,500 coalition personnel.
When the base came under Iranian missile attack on Jan. 8, 2020, Owczarczak played a key role in responding to the attack, Richardson said.
He received the Bronze Star in recognition of his efforts.
“His accomplishments of this past year to include the deployment, earning a Bronze Star, and multiple award categories is no surprise to anyone he works with,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jerrod Kester, the 107th Security Forces enlisted manager.
Owczarczak is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
He also works with multiple committees and councils to bolster wing development and morale.
“Master Sgt. Owczarczak is a clear example of what a SNCO should be not only in security forces but our Air Force,” Kester said in a news release. “I have witnessed the hard work and dedication he has put in on a daily basis.”
Owczarczak’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.