Misawa airman up to Air Force-wide award
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Pacific Air Forces nominated Staff Sgt. Cody Williams, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron battalion chief, at Misawa Air Base, Japan, for the 2017 Arthur S. Flemming Award who will now compete at the Air Force level.
The Arthur S. Flemming Award was established in 1948 to honor outstanding federal employees who made significant and extraordinary contributions to the federal government in the categories of leadership and/or management; legal achievement; social science, clinical trials and translational research; applied science and engineering; and basic science.
“I’m really honored to be the PACAF nominee,” said Williams. “It’s not an easy feat to make it from the squadron level to group and then wing level because of the number of outstanding people eligible for the award.”
Williams competed against other federal employees throughout the PACAF region in the leadership and management category. In 2017, Williams managed the daily operations for two fire stations consisting of 34 firefighters, responsible for 65 assigned aircraft and protecting 15,000 personnel and 25,000 facilities, ultimately ensuring the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army and Japan Air Self-Defense Force remain mission ready.
“Prior to being on the operations side of the firehouse, Williams worked in logistics,” said Chief Master Sgt. Lee Manley, 35th CE installation fire chief. “He is very versatile. Every job I asked him to fill, I received nothing short of perfection and professionalism.”
Williams accomplished and tracked over 300 purchases, ensuring two fire stations were equipped with gear needed to execute the mission such as their self-contained breathing apparatus, a device worn by firefighters and others to provide breathable air in an immediately dangerous-to-life or -health atmosphere. He identified outdated equipment and fixed the deficiencies by upgrading the installation’s emergency response capability. His expertise in the finance process didn't go unnoticed; other flights around Misawa AB reached out to him for help, too. Williams became a liaison for three other flights to assist with purchasing processes.
Additionally, Williams is the president of Misawa’s Firefighter Association, an organization whose mission is mentoring new firefighters and giving back to the local community and fire departments. He led a committee of 71 personnel who organized eight fundraiser events, raising $14,000. He also facilitated the contract for free Wi-Fi for the fire department indefinitely, saving the department $15,000 in upcoming years.
“I wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for my leadership placing me in positions most staff sergeants aren’t afforded,” Williams said. “These opportunities have expedited my career, and I am better off for it.’’
However, his leadership offered a different reason for Williams' recognition: his own leadership abilities.
“He influences the Airmen in such a positive way; they want to emulate him, whether it be on or off duty,” said Manley. “Williams epitomizes the whole Airman concept.”