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Former 55th CONS member named Airman of the Year

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

Growing up in Spring, Texas, with very little military affiliation in his family and barely getting through the first year of Sam Houston State University’s general education courses, he decided to make a bold move and join the United States Air Force.

Twelve years later to the month, the Air Force announced Master Sgt. Joshua Malyemezian as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2017. Although his win comes from achievements made while serving in the 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, he has been making a name for himself since the beginning of his career.

After leaving basic military training as an honor graduate, he went on to serve five years with the USAF Honor Guard.

“From day one he was always super sharp,” said Pete Ising, former honor guard member and Air Force veteran. “He was continuously selected for the high profile details because he was one of the best ceremonial guardsmen. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that he has had continued success throughout his career.”

During his time with the honor guard, he earned the Air Force Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge as well as becoming an Airman Leadership School distinguished graduate. In 2010, he made another life altering decision and cross trained into contracting where he was a distinguished graduate from the Contracting Apprentice Course.

He arrived at Offutt AFB in January of 2011. In his six years here he held down a myriad of jobs from section chief of the services flight to unit deployment manager. He also earned a variety of notable awards to include the 2012 Air Force Ability One Program of the Year, the 2014 55th Mission Support Group NCO of the Year and the 2016 Air Combat Command Senior NCO of the Year.

“Master Sgt. Malyemezian, or Mayo as we affectionately know him, is the type of person that you can give any task and he will attack it like he has been there before and produce extraordinary results,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Swistak, 55th CONS superintendent. “Unbelievably, that is not his best attribute; he takes the time to teach other team members how to do the task while tying it to the mission and why it is important in building a palpable sense of purpose.”

Outside of the workplace he found the time to complete an associate, bachelors and master’s degree, while also taking leadership roles in the 5/6 Network, Air Force Sergeant’s Association and Top III to name a few.

All of these achievements and more led to this year’s win.

While taking on so much, finding a balance was key he said.

“I do my best to separate home and work,” Malyemezian said. “I spend a lot of hours at work throughout the week, so the evenings and the weekends are dedicated to the kids.  Also, I get my physical training out of the way early in the morning.”

Although it is a lot, he said it is not hard to find the motivation.

“I want to set good example for my kids and to show them that hard work pays off,” Malyemezian said. “Also, the Air Force motivates me as well.  There is always something changing and new processes to learn which keeps me interested.”

He also said the people he is surrounded by at work are another key factor.

“Operational contracting is very diverse,” he said. “Typically, a squadron is comprised of half military and half civilians.  Many of the civilians are retired military or have served, and many of the military folks are retrainees which makes contracting very unique.  Everyone brings something different to the fight.  I enjoy learning about their experiences across the Air Force and helping them transition their skills set to make them successful contracting professionals.”

His hard work has not gone unnoticed by his leadership.

“MSgt Malyemezian challenges everyone around him to operate at a higher level of excellence,” Swistak said.

Malyemezian said he hopes to pass that mindset onto the next generation of Airmen.

“No matter the task, do it to the best of their ability and to take pride in whatever there are doing,” he said. “I always use the details example.  I don't care if you are vacuuming the floor, make sure you do it perfectly.”

As for the Air Force naming him one the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2017, he takes a much more modest approach.

“I am so humbled,” Malyemezian said. “You hear about the 12 OAY every year, but never think winning is achievable.”

Malyemezian recently moved to the 6th Contracting Squadron, MacDill AFB, Florida, where he is the section chief of the Performance Management Flight.   

“Right now I am focusing on learning the mission at my new command, wing and squadron,” Malyemezian said.

But his time at Offutt is not easily forgotten.

“I miss the people:  from the 55th CONS, to the Top III to the local Community,” said Malyemezian.