Larson Awards program brings brightest ISR Airmen together

  • Published
  • By Lori A. Bultman
  • 25th Air Force

Every year, 25th Air Force recognizes the best Airmen in a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance career fields through the Larson Awards program.


Maj. Gen. Doyle Larson’s goal in creating the awards program in 1979 was to improve the performance of the Air Force’s global cryptologic mission. The program recognizes technicians from more than 20 career fields that are vital to accomplishing that mission.


“Being selected for the Larson award is truly amazing,” said Master Sgt. Kevin, a 2017 gold medal recipient. “Since taking my first test as a young staff sergeant, I made it my personal goal to medal three times. I have succeeded by placing gold twice and silver once.” Participants in the program are only allowed to place three times in their career.


Kevin appreciates his leadership’s support for the program and credits his participation with making him a better Airman.  


“I could not have done it without the unwavering support of my leadership,” he said. “The Larson program has increased my drive and motivation to succeed as an ISR professional.”


Tech. Sgt. Alan, also a 2017 gold medal recipient, said the Larson awards program is well worth competing. As a winner, he was able to visit San Antonio and participate in Larson week events in November 2017.


“I loved my trip to San Antonio. As a cybersecurity student, it was nice to get to mingle with some business owners at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce that actually own cyber security businesses. I learned that they hold my (technical) school in high regard, and got some helpful tips in finding a cybersecurity job after the military,” he said.


Alan also liked that the nominees were challenged during the week, and the awards were not presented until the end.


“I liked how they kept the winners secret until the last day,” Alan said. “I think it helped keep everyone engaged and optimistic.


“Although some might not look forward to being put to work, I enjoyed the opportunity to work on a continuous improvement event, because I got a topic that I cared about,” he said, adding that he felt like he was able to get his opinion heard by 25th Air Force leaders during the week’s activities.


This year’s Larson Awards first-round testing starts today, and the last day to test is June 15. The second round of testing will be held in July. For more information or to schedule your test, please contact your unit’s test administrator or first sergeant.