220th EIS chief master sergeant earns joint Ohio National Guard award

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  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Emery

U.S. Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Day, of the 220th Engineering Installation Squadron, Zanesville, Ohio earned the Major General Gregory Wayt Visionary Leadership Award for his work on the construction of the new U.S. Strategic Command headquarters building at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. 

This award is only presented for demonstrated leadership to ONG service members who are in or above the grade of 04, CW3 or E7, however, Day is the first enlisted person to earn the award.

This particular award meant a lot to Day.  He said, “I was fortunate enough to serve under Major General Wayt during his tenure at the state and was actually coined by him in my junior years.  That was the first General Officer coin that I had received as an Airman, so to get this award is truly a humbling experience.” 

The $1.3 billion Command and Control Facility is the second largest in the Department of Defense only to the Pentagon in terms of its complex communications capabilities and infrastructure.  When complete the building will be 916,000 square feet and hold 3,500 employees. 

It is Day’s expertise and leadership as the lead Department of Defense total force engineering installation project manager on this colossal project that led him to earn this award.

According to U.S. Air Force Major General Rick Evans III, director of reserve forces and mobilization to USSTRATCOM, “Day ensured 57 disparate networks and oversaw all projects aspects directly pertaining to all inside and outside plant fiber optic and copper cabling.  The amount of cabling installed within the DOD Nuclear Command Control Facility would reach to the moon and back and Day was the paramount U.S. service member integrator from 2013-2018.” 

Evans continues to add, “Without question, Day consistently demonstrated his ability to think globally, created a learning organization, used information for continuous breakthrough improvement/innovation and provided visionary leadership to ensure customer-driven excellence on daily basis.  As a result of Day’s inputs, the U.S. taxpayer saved over $300 million by utilizing service members in lieu of DOD contractors.”

During this time, Day oversaw 400 personnel, including members of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard.

“Whether someone was here for one month or six months, he took care of them superbly, minimizing distractions and maintaining high morale,” said Evans. 

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sheree Patillo, the director of operations with the 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group, was the on-site commander of the Total Force Engineering Installation Team that supported USSTRATCOM’s Command and Control facility projects. 

Patillo said, “Day is by far deserving of this prestigious award, as he is the epitome of a selfless, visionary leader.  His positive attitude and staunch work ethic were absolutely infections, keeping the team highly motivated even at the cost of extended hours and weekend duty at times.  His phenomenal leadership not only laid the foundation for the engineering installation community’s stellar performance and reputation at USSTRATCOM, but also added the finishing touches.”

Day’s team that he led were also named MAJCOM recipients of the Gen. Mark A. Welsh III Outstanding team in both 2017 and 2018. 

Evans said, “We should all be very proud of Day and the entire 220th EIS, who served as the lead unit for the entire engineering installation community. We realize what a special capability we are fortunate to have in the Ohio National Guard.”

When asked about his success on this project, Day said, “I have been able to serve this great country for the past 36 years and feel very fortunate to bring all the great training and mentorship that has been provided to me to bear for such a great endeavor as USSTRATCOM.  With support from our group and senior leaders, we were able to create enough synergy not only from the engineering and installation community, but also from our active duty and reserve brethren.  This was truly a team endeavor and I was just fortunate enough to be able to “steer” the ship during this incredible journey while making lifelong friends and learning a few things along the way.”