CAMP MURRAY, Wash. – The Washington Air National Guard’s 194th Wing has named Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Andrews of the 194th Intelligence Squadron as the 194th Wing Airman of the Year for 2018. Andrews joined the Air Guard at the age of 23 and joined the 194th IS, serving as a geospatial targeting analyst.
Recently promoted to the rank of staff sergeant, Andrews was selected for the Airman of the Year award for his accomplishments as a senior airman. “Being selected for the annual award is not so much a recognition for me but a recognition for my Squadron, officers, supervisors, mentors and family who have assisted, advised, and guided me to the multiple opportunities the Air Force has to offer. Without such an amazing support system and enabling unit, there is no way I could have accomplished what I have this last year,” said Andrews.
Andrews was born and raised in Polson, Montana before moving to Steilacoom, Washington with his wife. After moving to Washington, Andrews joined the Air Guard, looking for a career that offered purpose and growth opportunity. He was influenced to join the military by his youngest brother and aunt’s service in the armed forces and ultimately settled on the Air National Guard because they seemed like the best branch for his family, he said.
Andrews faced a hardship at one point in his Guard career. “One moment of my career that stands out the most is when I blacked out after a fit test,” Andrews recalled. “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Not only was I blindsided with a diagnosis that would require lifelong medication and care but jeopardized my newfound career. My unit was and has always been 100% behind me from visiting me at the hospital, to navigating the challenging admin, to making sure that my family was provided for. Without their support and unyielding loyalty I would not have been able to rebound as fast or as fully as I have. That event made me realize just how much my Squadron had become a family and has been a constant motivation for me to be worthy of them,” said Andrews.
In his free time, Andrews enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, fishing and enjoying the mountains. His favorite activities are centered on learning and self-improvement, he said. He enjoys strength and functional fitness training, likes to read everything from fantasy to military history and is also a part time college student.
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