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TEC Airman honored at Veterans Day awards ceremony

Master Sgt. Eric Bollmann, right, operations superintendent for the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, helps a new member of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center process into the unit at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn., Nov. 14. Bollmann was recently recognized by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council as an outstanding enlisted service member during the 30th Annual Veteran’s Day Awards and Recognition Luncheon. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund)

Master Sgt. Eric Bollmann, right, operations superintendent for the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, helps a new member of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center process into the unit at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn., Nov. 14. Bollmann was recently recognized by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council as an outstanding enlisted service member during the 30th Annual Veteran’s Day Awards and Recognition Luncheon. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund)

McGHEE-TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- In celebration of Veterans Day, an instructor here at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center received high honors from East Tennessee community leaders Friday, Nov. 9.

"On and off duty, in and out of uniform, he epitomizes the senior noncommissioned officer," said Chief Master Sgt. Donald Felch, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center here. "His accomplishments and their impact upon the mission of the center have been nothing short of stellar."

Felch is referring to Master Sgt. Eric Bollmann, operations superintendent for the Lankford center.

Bollmann was selected by his commander for recognition as an outstanding member of the McGhee-Tyson team. He was presented, along with a handful of local service members from each service branch, the Outstanding Enlisted Personnel Award during the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council's 30th Annual Veterans Day Luncheon and Awards Program at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Through the course of his duties, Bollmann manages the budget, resources, staffing and student operations at the Air National Guard's premier schoolhouse. He's quick, however, to deflect a compliment and share the praise with his colleagues, who he describes as "tremendous."

"It's easy to overachieve when you enjoy your job as much as I do. There's a lot of positive energy here," he said. "It's a great atmosphere; we have the best of the best in the Air Force and the Guard."

Felch however, redirected praise back to Bollmann.

"He notices when things need to be done--and does them. Once he's on something, it gets done--usually with that little something extra that makes the finished product or process shine," said the commandant.

Outside of his duties Bollmann spearheaded a number of initiatives at the base including organization of the 2012 International Leadership Conference; preparation of the TEC to welcome more than 35 senior enlisted NATO service members; and direction of the unit's Combined Federal Campaign, which raised $8,500 for charity. Bollmann is also a youth basketball coach.

"I'm very proud of this," Bollmann said of the award. "I felt humbled and honored to be recognized at a big event where our community was celebrating Veterans Day."

Bollman began his Air Force career in 1994 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. During his time in the Air Force he has served as an aircrew flight equipment craftsman for C-5, C-17, C-141 and KC-10 air frames at Travis.