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CSAF Receives Space Honor

Mickey Hartinger (right) presents U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein with the Hartinger Award in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 2. The award is named for Hartinger's spouse, retired Gen. James Hartinger, who was the first commander of Air Force Space Command. Every year, the Rocky Mountain chapter of National Defense Industrial Association selects one person to be honored for outstanding achievement in the military space mission of the United States. 

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado -- The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association presented the Patriot Award to Air Force Space Command’s Staff Sgt. Megan Richards, recognizing outstanding service women and men from all services in the Colorado Springs area during the 35th Annual Rocky Mountain NDIA Ball Nov 2.

“I am honored and overjoyed,” said Richards, non-commissioned officer in charge of Special Programs Administration for the AFSPC Directorate of Plans, Programs and Financial Management. “Receiving the notification from Chief Criswell that I had won the Patriot Award was not only a surprise but flattering.”

Paul Pabich, chief of Special Programs Resources and Integration Branch for the AFSPC Directorate of Plans, Programs and Financial Management, and Richards’ branch chief, said he felt tremendous satisfaction when he found out that she won.

“It’s terrific to see someone who so ably supports her unit, base and command get recognized with such an award,” Pabich said. “She’s very resourceful because she quickly focuses on the needs of the division to accomplish our wide variety of tasks from security, to communication, to money and strategic planning.”

Richards coordinated 11 Space Cadre Task Force discussions, connecting 21 agencies with efforts to reallocate 329 manpower positions in support of the Protect and Defend missions. Her meticulous nature was instrumental in creating a three-year strategic calendar capturing 99 milestones and 221 requirements enabling the Division Chief to defend 10 programs, estimated at $10 billion dollars.

“Yet Staff Sgt. Richards also makes sure she sets aside time for efforts beyond division level,” Pabich continued.

Richards is a volunteer for the Veterans Stand Down and Care and Share Food Pantry. For the last two years, she assisted in clothing, feeding, and providing quality of life resources to 198 veterans of which 113 were homeless. During her time at Care and Share, she collected and distributed over 23,000 pounds of food around Colorado Springs, serving 134,000 people.

“Staff Sgt. Richards is an organized, caring, timely, and respectful person,” said Tech. Sgt. Emily Perez, Special Programs Assignments manager for the AFSPC Directorate of Plans, Programs and Financial Management, and Richards’ supervisor. “You can always count on her with any task. I couldn't ask for a better subordinate.”

In addition to the Patriot Award, Richards also won the 2017 Headquarters Air Force Space Command Airman of the Year and the 2017 Information Dominance Airman of the Year awards and was recently elected to the AFSPC First Six Vice President role.

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