Communications Airman wins first-ever Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

According to Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, “An object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest.”

But the law doesn’t have to apply to physics; the same principle can also be applied to one communications Airman’s successes.

Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Selonke, section chief of network integration assigned to the 6th Communications Squadron, was selected to receive the first-ever Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege Award from the Air Force Communicators and Air Traffic Controllers Association. The award is named after Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege who retired from the Air Force as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and has been a leader in the cyber community since his retirement and a supporter of the AFCOMMATC.

Only four months ago, Selonke was recognized as the 2016 Air Force Information Dominance Outstanding Cyber Systems NCO of the Year.

“I couldn’t believe I won the Lt. Gen Raduege award, because I had never heard of it,” said Selonke. “But after being contacted by the AFCOMMATC, I realized that I would be the first-ever recipient and I'm honored."

This marks the first time the AFCOMMATC has awarded an Airman in the cyber category. Selonke is slated to accept the new award during the organization’s annual convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, October 2017.

One accomplishment that gave Selonke his recognition, was the refresh of the Mission Support Team, or MST. His role, was to revamp the communications for the team, which activates if there was ever a nuclear incident.

“The communication lines are protected and strengthened to protect against a nuclear blast,” said Selonke. “Standard communications such as cell phones and landlines would be fried if an electromagnetic pulse occurred, so these communications are vital if such an event happens.”

Selonke combined the inputs of 16 squadrons throughout the Air Mobility Command and drafted a concept of operations for the project. Later, he was identified by AMC to train 24 units in their command. In response, Selonke shared his knowledge with his team, and taught them everything necessary to teach the other units.

“Sergeant Selonke is a great mentor, he kept myself and everyone on the radio frequency team up to speed on the information that needed to be shared,” said Senior Airman Geovanni Lee, a satellite communication technician assigned to the 6th CS. “We were given the opportunity to visit other bases and standardize their communications.”

From October 2015 to September 2016, Selonke accomplished these tasks which led to his first Air Force award. During that time, he was the section chief of radio frequency transmissions, but now he oversees the network infrastructure for MacDill.

“After winning the award, I was moved from a position that involved satellites and communications off base to working with MacDill’s internet and phone lines,” said Selonke.

Even though his workplace scenery changed, Selonke plans to keep moving forward. He awaits a soon-approaching promotion to master sergeant, and has set his eyes on applying to be a commissioned officer or a special duty if commissioning doesn't work out.

“I’m looking forward to leading Airmen as an officer or as a first sergeant,” said Selonke. “These recent awards gave me all sorts of recognition, but developing other Airmen is what drives me most.”