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Former Kadena commander and spouse receive 2009 O'Malley Award

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presents the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award to Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams at a Pentagon ceremony Sept. 11, 2009.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presents the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award to Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams at a Pentagon ceremony Sept. 11, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz congratulates Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams as the recipients of the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award during a Pentagon ceremony Sept. 11, 2009.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz congratulates Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams as the recipients of the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award during a Pentagon ceremony Sept. 11, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J Pausic)

Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams show the picture of "The Falcon and the Rose" that was presented to them during a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009, where they were honored with the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award.  Tradition says the falcon and rose are powerful and enduring symbols within the Air Force -- the unrivaled courage and effortless power of a falcon in flight are bound in harmony with the simple grace and unchallenged beauty of a single rose.  The O'Malley award is presented annually to the wing commander and spouse team who have best exhibited their own courage, power, grace and beauty in caring for Air Force families.  (Courtesy photo)

Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams show the picture of "The Falcon and the Rose" that was presented to them during a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009, where they were honored with the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award. Tradition says the falcon and rose are powerful and enduring symbols within the Air Force -- the unrivaled courage and effortless power of a falcon in flight are bound in harmony with the simple grace and unchallenged beauty of a single rose. The O'Malley award is presented annually to the wing commander and spouse team who have best exhibited their own courage, power, grace and beauty in caring for Air Force families. (Courtesy photo)

Sharon O'Malley Burg, daughter of the late Gen. Jerome and Diane O'Malley, provides some remarks during the presentation of the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award to Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams at a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009.  The award was established after General and Mrs O'Malley, who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, were killed in a plane crash in 1985.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Sharon O'Malley Burg, daughter of the late Gen. Jerome and Diane O'Malley, provides some remarks during the presentation of the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award to Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams at a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009. The award was established after General and Mrs O'Malley, who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, were killed in a plane crash in 1985. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Sharon O'Malley Burg, daughter of the late Gen. Jerome and Diane O'Malley, presents Brig. Gen. Brett Williams with a set of brigadier general rank worn by General O'Malley as a special tribute to carry on the O'Malley legacy.  The presentation of the rank was part of a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009, where General Williams and his wife, Marianne, were honored with the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award. The award was established after the O'Malleys, who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, were killed in a plane crash in 1985.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Sharon O'Malley Burg, daughter of the late Gen. Jerome and Diane O'Malley, presents Brig. Gen. Brett Williams with a set of brigadier general rank worn by General O'Malley as a special tribute to carry on the O'Malley legacy. The presentation of the rank was part of a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009, where General Williams and his wife, Marianne, were honored with the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award. The award was established after the O'Malleys, who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, were killed in a plane crash in 1985. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Marianne Williams, wife of Brig. Gen. Brett Williams, shows the crystal rose she received after the couple was honored with the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award during a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009.  The rose was presented to Mrs. Williams by Sharon O'Malley Burg to carry on the O'Malley legacy.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Marianne Williams, wife of Brig. Gen. Brett Williams, shows the crystal rose she received after the couple was honored with the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award during a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009. The rose was presented to Mrs. Williams by Sharon O'Malley Burg to carry on the O'Malley legacy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Sharon O'Malley Burg, daughter of the late Gen. Jerome and Diane O'Malley, makes a point during an informal conversation with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams prior to the start of a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009, honoring General and Mrs. Williams.  They are the recipients of the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award.  The award was established after the O'Malleys, who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, were killed in a plane crash in 1985.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

Sharon O'Malley Burg, daughter of the late Gen. Jerome and Diane O'Malley, makes a point during an informal conversation with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Brig. Gen. Brett and Marianne Williams prior to the start of a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2009, honoring General and Mrs. Williams. They are the recipients of the 2009 General and Mrs. Jerome O'Malley Award. The award was established after the O'Malleys, who were known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities, were killed in a plane crash in 1985. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Pausic)

SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- The former Kadena Air Base, Japan, wing commander and his wife received the 2009 General Jerome F. O'Malley and Diane O'Malley Award Sept. 11 at a ceremony in the Pentagon. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presented the award and Sharon O'Malley Burg made two special presentations of her own.

Brig. Gen. Brett T. Williams and his wife, Marianne, received the award that annually recognizes the wing commander and spouse team who have best exhibited their own courage, power, grace and beauty in caring for Air Force families and whose contributions to the nation, the Air Force and the surrounding community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple serving in a key Air Force position.

General Williams, who led the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base from May 2007 to July 2009, is now based at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, where he is the director of command, control, communications and computer systems for U.S. Pacific Command.

During the ceremony, Mrs. Burg, General and Mrs. O'Malley's daughter, presented General Williams with a set of brigadier general rank worn by General O'Malley. She also presented Mrs. Williams with a crystal rose, a symbol of pink roses that Diane O'Malley cherished. The military rank symbolized the selfless leadership of her father and the crystal rose represented her mother's grace. Both gifts are new traditions that Mrs. Burg has instituted this year to carry on the O'Malley legacy.

The award is named after General O'Malley and his wife, Diane, who were killed in a 1985 aircraft crash while en route to a meeting in Scranton, Pa. The couple was known for their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and communities.

In nominating the Williams' for the O'Malley award, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Carrol H. "Howie" Chandler, then commander of Pacific Air Forces, said, "Team Williams provided extraordinary leadership for the joint community on Kadena and their teamwork is an incredible force multiplier supporting the strategic interests of the United States in Japan."

General Chandler went on to state that, "Perhaps the biggest contribution was their dedication to mentoring, coaching, leading and empowering all officer and enlisted 'command teams' on Kadena."

General and Mrs. Williams put particular emphasis on both military and spouse leadership teams at the squadron and group command levels as well as key senior enlisted leadership levels. The Williams' conducted two-day spouse leadership forums, follow-up seminars, mission orientations and protocol training sessions, and then followed up with overall close interaction with those teams.

"At our level, any recognition we receive is not really a reflection of our personal efforts," General Williams said. "Instead, the O'Malley award recognizes and validates the work of many teams and individuals across (Kadena Air Base)."

In a heartfelt letter that the couple sent back to the men and women of Kadena Air Base, they cited the significant support of the groups, clubs, staffs, agencies and organizations that "played vital roles in many of our initiatives." They also recognized the important work of the base's first sergeants.

Particular emphasis by the couple went to engaging and supporting family programs. They personally inspired and guided the Airman and Family Readiness Center, reinforcing its role as the keystone for spouse and family support. They also set the example in caring for the families of deployed servicemembers by jump-starting Kadena's Readiness Assistance Volunteer program.

They also were positive and articulate ambassadors for the Air Force to fostering strong relations with their host nation citizens. They opened their home more than 40 times to a wide variety of U.S. and Japanese guests from the military, civilian, business and political communities. These events bolstered bi-lateral relations with members of the local area.

Mrs. Williams was particularly active in programs that supported Airmen and their families. She was an active advisor to numerous base organizations, especially with an emphasis on spouse support including the First Term Airman's Course spouse orientation and the Airman Leadership School/NCO Academy spouse forum. 

"The leadership teams and helping agencies [at Kadena Air Base] put their heart and soul into taking care of our Airmen and their families," Mrs. Williams said. "They helped raise the bar in making a dynamic and diverse mission happen every day."

In concluding his nomination of General and Mrs. Williams, General Chandler said, "Leading the 18th Wing is one of the toughest tests in our Air Force. Brett and Marianne aced this test and are most deserving of the 2009 O'Malley award."

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