Nellis Airman honored for community service

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Dumboski
  • Nellis Air Force Base Public Affairs
A Nellis Airman received a pleasant surprise when he found out he was Air Combat Command's Community Service Award winner.

Master Sgt. Rudy Martinez, 99th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent, learned of his award during a meeting with the 99th Air Base Wing Commander, Col. Dave Belote.

It was during an immersion with the new commander, said Sergeant Martinez. Colonel Belote was talking about his first impressions coming to the base and the kind of people who work at Nellis.

"He said that we have some great Airmen here, like Master Sergeant Martinez, and asked me to come up to the front," Sergeant Martinez said. "I had no idea what he was going to do or say. Then he told me that I had won the award.

"I was very surprised," he said. "I knew I had been nominated, but not that I had won."

The award recognizes people who exhibit the highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment over a sustained period of time, and who are creative and highly skilled career managers at all levels of public service.

It recognizes Defense Department employees who've contributed to the community and military quality of life, said Sergeant Martinez.

On duty, Sergeant Martinez manages the daily operations of his squadron. He ensures manning and training levels are met and that his Airmen have the resources they need to do their jobs.

"He takes care of his people," said Senior Airman Hector Rivera-Bonilla, Security Support Squadron scheduler and instructor. "If you've got a problem, he'll work with you."

Airman Rivera-Bonilla remembered an instance when one of Sergeant Martinez's troops wanted to attend some college classes, but his work schedule conflicted with the school one. Sergeant Martinez reworked the duty schedule for the Airman.

Out of the uniform, the senior NCO takes an interest in his neighborhood.

As president of the neighborhood HOA, Sergeant Martinez has been involved in many improvement programs.

"My house is near a high school, and before, it wasn't uncommon for kids to walk to school through our community," said Sergeant Martinez. The kids often left trash and graffiti in their wake. "Some kids would even skip school to hang out in our parks."

Led by Sergeant Martinez, the HOA enacted a graffiti abatement program and connected with the police department to have a truant officer patrol the neighborhood during school hours.

"It's helped out a lot," he said. "Graffiti is almost non-existent, and the kids know that the police are in the area looking out for people skipping school."

"Master Sgt. Martinez is the total package," said Senior Master Sgt. Lee Barr, 99th Security Support Squadron, Security Forces Manger. "He takes an active role in the improvement of his troops, his job and his community. He's a pleasure to work with and a great senior NCO."