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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots

By Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross

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Wing Commander, Spouse Team Humbled By Recognition
(June 19, 2010)

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Brig. Gen. Thomas Bergeson and his wife, Lt. Col. Pam Bergeson, are the 2010 winners of the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award, which recognizes the best wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple serving in a key Air Force position. General Bergeson is the 3rd Wing commander at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Colonel Bergeson is the inspector general for the 477th Fighter Group stationed at JB Elmendorf.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Bergeson and his wife, Lt. Col. Pam Bergeson, are the 2010 winners of the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award, which recognizes the best wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple serving in a key Air Force position. General Bergeson is the 3rd Wing commander at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Colonel Bergeson is the inspector general for the 477th Fighter Group stationed at JB Elmendorf.
 JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (6/17/2010 - AFNS) -- The 3rd Wing commander and his spouse were recognized for their contribution to the nation, the Air Force and the local community.

Brig. Gen. Thomas Bergeson and his wife, Lt. Col. Pam Bergeson, are the 2010 winners of the Gen. and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award, which recognizes the best wing commander and spouse team whose contributions best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple serving in a key Air Force position.

"I'm very proud of Pam. As for me, I was just doing the mission I was given to do as best as I could," General Bergeson said. "Pam has been a terrific partner in this wing command, and she sees the world through a different lens than I do. Leadership of a wing is a team endeavor."

Both the general and his wife said they were extremely humbled by this recognition and felt there were many command teams in the Air Force that would have been
worthy of this honor.
"(JB) Elmendorf is simply outstanding and that fact doesn't have anything to do with Tom and me. It has everything to do with our great Arctic Warrior Airmen and families," said Colonel Bergeson, the inspector general for the 477th Fighter Group stationed at JB Elmendorf.

The two first got word of the recognition several days ago as they were packing household items in preparation for their move to their next duty station. General Bergeson will be the U.S. defense attach´┐Ż to the United Kingdom, in London. They received two phone calls -- one from Gen. Gary North, the Pacific Air Forces commander, and another from Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, the Alaskan Command commander -- congratulating them for winning this prestigious honor.

"We are all very proud of Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Bergeson. Their collective leadership and as husband and wife, and commander and spouse, have been extremely instrumental to the Fort Richardson-Elmendorf community," General North said. "Their selection as our Air Force's 2010 General and Mrs. O'Malley award winners validates their exceptional team leadership and the impact they have had in the joint community arena. Everyone shares in the congratulations to the Bergeson family for their recognition as the 'best wing commander and spouse team in our Air Force for 2010.'"

General Atkins echoed the sentiments of the PACAF commander.

"I've had the personal honor to observe, first hand, the leadership of Brig. Gen. Bergeson and his wife Pam over the past two years," General Atkins said. "The numerous awards and recognition garnered by Airmen assigned to Elmendorf AFB, along with the recent recognition of the CINC Installation Excellence award, reflects the outstanding contributions of this husband and wife team, and also highlights the positive influence they have had on our Airmen and their families. When I think of Tom and Pam, I think of compassion and competency."

During their tenure as JB Elmendorf's command team, the Bergesons' contributions were critical in leading more than 6,000 Airmen who flew 11,000 accident-free sorties; intercepted 11 Russian bombers with active duty and Reserve pilots flying F-22 Raptors; dropped 16,000 Army paratroopers from active-duty and guard C-17 Globemaster IIIs; deployed 2,262 Airmen in support of operations around the world; treated 238,000 patients; earned an excellent ORI rating; and won 155 Air Force- and major command-level awards.

General Bergeson gave away what he believes is the key to their success.

"At the end of the day the most important leadership tool you have is the example you set," he said.

The general and his wife are expected to receive their award from the Air Force chief of staff later this year.
Article and photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross
3rd Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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