Air University enshrined its first senior enlisted leader graduates, along with officer alumni, into the Chief of Staff and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force International Honor Roll during a ceremony at the Maxwell Club at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, April 13.
For the enlisted inductees, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass held an additional ceremony later in the day to dedicate the International Honor Roll wall in the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Maxwell’s Gunter Annex, memorializing their accomplishments.
For 34 years, the International Honor Roll has honored Air University graduates who have gone on to attain prominent positions within their home-country’s military or government.
In conjunction with the addition of honoring enlisted graduates for the first time, the honor roll is newly sponsored by the offices of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.
“The significance of inducting our partner nation senior enlisted leaders into the International Honor Roll alumni cannot be overstated,” said Bass. “As we enter an era of contested domains, our international allies and partners will be the ones standing alongside us. I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the induction of our newest IHR members.”
Enlisted nominees for the honor roll must have graduated in-resident Air Force SNCOA, which has graduated 402 international students from 42 countries since 1973. The academy also has four international instructors on staff to further enhance the global perspective for the senior enlisted students.
“It’s a great privilege. I’m very delighted to be recognized,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Alvydas Tamošiunas, command senior enlisted leader of the Lithuanian Air Force and SNCOA 2009 graduate. “It’s very good for my organization, and for my country, as well. It was great people and a great class. The instructors built a great network to communicate that is still alive. It’s working and it’s effective. The class builds bridges between different cultures, and it’s very important to us.”
The enlisted-specific event at the SNCOA provided Air Force senior enlisted leaders the opportunity to ensure their enlisted international partners knew their contributions in the classroom were valued and the relationships formed during that time are ongoing. Honorees joined Bass on a tour of the Enlisted Heritage Hall as part of the event.
“Having our senior enlisted international partners recognized is an amazing addition to these historic hallways and to our program,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Hoglund, the Air Force SNCOA commandant. “It’s important for all to see these names of alumni who have come through our Air Force’s only senior noncommissioned officer academy and gone on to have exceptional careers in their counties. The interaction, collaboration and strategic insights have made a big impact when called upon to act in a global response. Since graduating our first international senior enlisted leader in 1995, our educating and developing ecosystem proves the opportunity to share perspectives and create relationships that go beyond the course setting, and it’s amazing to see these individuals honored in this way.”
The enlisted members of the 2022 inducted class and year graduated SNCOA include:
Command Sgt. Maj. Vladimir Blažek, Czech Republic, Command Senior Enlisted Leader Training Command-Military Academy, 2009
Chief Master Sgt. Janis Jallai, Estonia, Chief Master Sergeant of the Estonian Air Force (2014-2019), 2010
Chief Master Sgt. Andres Riisaar, Estonia, Chief Master Sergeant of the Estonian Air Force, 2013
Chief Master Sgt. Zsolt Berek, Hungary, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Hungarian Defense Forces, 2016
Retired Chief Warrant Officer Saif Aldeen Moh’D Ibraheem Al-Dammin, Jordan, Royal Jordanian Air Force Chief Warrant Officer, 2014
Command Sgt. Maj. Alvydas Tamošiunas, Lithuania, Command Senior Enlisted Leader of the Lithuanian Air Force, 2009
Chief Master Sgt. Hans Hutmacher, Switzerland, Command Chief Master Sergeant of Joint Operations Command (2018-2020), 2012