Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presented the 2014 and 2015 Lance P. Sijan Leadership Awards to eight Airmen in the Airman’s Hall on April 7 at the Pentagon.
The Sijan award, first given in 1981, is named in honor of the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor.
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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark. A Welsh III talks with the 2014 and 2015 Lance P. Sijan Leadership award winners prior to their presentation ceremony in the Pentagon, Washington. D.C., April 7, 2016. The Sijan award, first presented in 1981, was named in honor of the first Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each year it is given to a senior and junior officer, and a senior and junior enlisted member who demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities though out the year. Then Lt. Sijan was shot down over Vietnam on Nov. 9, 1967. Despite severe injuries he evaded capture for 45 days. He was promoted to Capt. while in captivity. He later died while being held at the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism. The 2014 winners are: Lt. Col. Stephen Matthews, Capt. John Sullivan, Master Sgt. Janell McGivern and Senior Airman Tristen Windel. The winners for 2015 are: Maj. Patrick Kolesiak, Capt. David Plachno, Senior Master Sgt. Justin Deisch and Tech. Sgt. Kevin Henderson. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)