By 2nd Lt. Darren Domingo
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The 50th Operations Group hosted the 10th annual Gen. Jimmey R. Morrell Awards banquet May 29 at the United States Air Force Academy’s Doolittle Hall.
The annual banquet is held in honor of Maj. General Jimmey R. Morrell, former commander of the 2nd Space Wing at Falcon AFB from 1988 to 1990. The awards night recognizes members of the 50 OG who emulate the values and characteristics that Gen. Morrell displayed during his career. Penetrating vision, uncompromised commitment to excellence, highest possible standards and expectations, ceaseless drive to develop and mentor future leaders and unwavering courage needed to shape the future were just a few attributes that lead his life and service.
During Morrell’s time at Falcon AFB, his unit earned its first Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and was responsible for the initial operational test and evaluation of nine major space systems. Gen. Morrell retired after 24 years of service in 1993. Following a long, fulfilling life and career, he passed away Feb. 8, 2006, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The night consisted of various awards for nominees from each squadron in the 50 OG. One winner was selected from enlisted, officer and civilian categories. The award earners were the nominees from each category who best displayed Morrell’s qualities in their work and support of the 50 OG mission. All awards are a group level award unique only to 50 OG.
Earners for each award included 1st Lt. Even Rogers, 4th Space Operations, for company grade officer, Master Sgt. Adam Larson, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron, for senior non-commissioned officer, Tech Sgt. Russel Justice, 50th Operations Support Squadron, for non-commissioned officer, Senior Airman Bria Tenorio, 3rd Space Operations, for junior enlisted and Virginia Hess, 3 SES, for civilian.
“I’m proud of the OG. 2014 was a year of considerable change and the men and women of the 50 OG came through with flying colors,” said Col. Dennis Bythewood, 50th Operations Group Commander.
This year’s awards ceremony included guest speaker Maj. Gen. Roger W. Teague, Director of Space Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Washington D.C. Maj. Gen. Teague was the commander of 4th Space Operations Squadron from 2000 — 2003, where he led his unit during launch, test and operational activation of three Milstar communication satellites. Teague went on to briefly serve as the Deputy Commander for the 50 OG here from May to July, 2003.
In addition to planning the actual event, committee members took additional measures to ensure the banquet was successful. “Several fundraisers were held to help put this outstanding event together,” said 1st Lt. Brinetta Hence, publicist of the awards banquet. “Thank you to all who supported these fundraisers. You made this event quite a success.”
Entertainment for the dinner was provided by the USAFA’s Blue Steel Band.
“We continue to look for ways to celebrate both the heritage of the 50 OG as well as the incredible work our people do every day to push the mission forward,” said Bythewood.