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DoD awards 147th airman and family readiness program best in ANG

Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, and Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, assistant to Ms. Norton, were presented with a plaque during the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards ceremony at the Pentagon March 1, 2013. Ms. Norton and the 147th RW Family Readiness office were named as the best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, and Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, assistant to Ms. Norton, were presented with a plaque during the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards ceremony at the Pentagon March 1, 2013. Ms. Norton and the 147th RW Family Readiness office were named as the best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, and Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, assistant to Ms. Norton, were presented with a plaque during the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards ceremony at the Pentagon March 1, 2013. Ms. Norton and the 147th RW Family Readiness office were named as the best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, and Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, assistant to Ms. Norton, were presented with a plaque during the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards ceremony at the Pentagon March 1, 2013. Ms. Norton and the 147th RW Family Readiness office were named as the best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Department of Defense and National Guard leaders present the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program office with the 2012 DoD Reserve Family Readiness Award for the Air National Guard during a ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013.
(From left: Gen. Frank Grass, Director NGB; Ms. Grass; Mr. John T. Hastingsl Acting Principle Deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs; Michael Norton; Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147RW Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager (FRG); Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, 147RW FRG Assistant; Col. John Daniel, Commander 147RW; Brig. Gen Kenneth Wisian, Commander Texas Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Denise M. Jelinski-Hall, Senior Enlisted Leader for the National Guard Bureau) (National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Department of Defense and National Guard leaders present the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program office with the 2012 DoD Reserve Family Readiness Award for the Air National Guard during a ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013. (From left: Gen. Frank Grass, Director NGB; Ms. Grass; Mr. John T. Hastingsl Acting Principle Deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs; Michael Norton; Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147RW Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager (FRG); Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, 147RW FRG Assistant; Col. John Daniel, Commander 147RW; Brig. Gen Kenneth Wisian, Commander Texas Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Denise M. Jelinski-Hall, Senior Enlisted Leader for the National Guard Bureau) (National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Department of Defense and National Guard leaders present the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program office with the 2012 DoD Reserve Family Readiness Award for the Air National Guard during a ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013.
(From left: Gen. Frank Grass, Director NGB; Ms. Grass; Mr. John T. Hastingsl Acting Principle Deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs; Michael Norton; Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147RW Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager (FRG); Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, 147RW FRG Assistant; Col. John Daniel, Commander 147RW; Brig. Gen Kenneth Wisian, Commander Texas Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Denise M. Jelinski-Hall, Senior Enlisted Leader for the National Guard Bureau) (National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

Department of Defense and National Guard leaders present the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program office with the 2012 DoD Reserve Family Readiness Award for the Air National Guard during a ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013. (From left: Gen. Frank Grass, Director NGB; Ms. Grass; Mr. John T. Hastingsl Acting Principle Deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs; Michael Norton; Ms. Monalisa Norton, 147RW Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager (FRG); Staff Sgt. Holly Yeagley, 147RW FRG Assistant; Col. John Daniel, Commander 147RW; Brig. Gen Kenneth Wisian, Commander Texas Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Denise M. Jelinski-Hall, Senior Enlisted Leader for the National Guard Bureau) (National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Sean Cowher)

The plaque awarded to the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Office during the 2012 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award Ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013. The 147th RW Family Readiness Office was named best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard Photo by MSgt Sean Cowher)

The plaque awarded to the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Office during the 2012 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award Ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013. The 147th RW Family Readiness Office was named best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard Photo by MSgt Sean Cowher)

The plaque awarded to the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Office during the 2012 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award Ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013. The 147th RW Family Readiness Office was named best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard Photo by MSgt Sean Cowher)

The plaque awarded to the 147th Reconnaissance Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Office during the 2012 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award Ceremony at the Pentagon on March 1, 2013. The 147th RW Family Readiness Office was named best in the Air National Guard for 2012. (National Guard Photo by MSgt Sean Cowher)

3/1/2013 - PENTAGON -- The 147th Reconnaissance Wing boasts several accolades already for 2013, and March 1, the wing added another award to its repertoire.

During the Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards presentation in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, the wing's Airman and Family Program Manager Monalisa Norton was presented a plaque and certificate naming the program the best in the Air National Guard.

"The 147th is truly exemplary of everything we do inside the Air National Guard to be able to support family readiness," said Brig. Gen. James Witham, ANG deputy director.

Norton and other volunteers work with airmen and families throughout the wing to make sure families are being taken care of while their airmen are deployed.

"If they need help, we have state resources, local resources, and federal resources we refer them to because they are not alone and we just let them know that," Norton said.

Norton has worked as the program manager for seven years. She said she is excited and humbled to receive the recognition.

"(The award is) very, very humbling, Norton said. "To receive this award means a great deal to me. I try very hard to take care of not only our service members, but our families, so to get this recognition, I'm speechless."

Norton has been responsible for implementing programs that have had a positive and lasting impact on the members and families of Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base and credits the support from her leadership in the unit.

"It takes a whole team to make this office what it is and I'm very fortunate to have hat team around me," Norton said about the support she received from wing leadership.

Additionally, Norton said she is able to execute her duties as the program manager here because she has lived the life as a military spouse and can relate to the airmen and families here.

"My husband is retired Air Force," she said. "I get to give back because I have been the spouse. I have been the mom. I've been there."

The Reserve Family Readiness Award recognizes one National Guard and Reserve unit from each of the seven Reserve components and the winners are those units with the best programs to support their families.

The DOD Reserve Family Readiness Awards Program was established in 2000 to recognize the top unit family readiness program in each of the reserve components. Family readiness programs are particularly important as the United States relies on significant numbers of reservists to serve in critical locations worldwide. Family readiness has proven to be a key component of mission readiness. Robust family readiness programs have enhanced the deployability of guard and reserve units and they represent a vital link in the support networks for our reserve families.

President of the Military Officers Association of America and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Norb Ryan presented a certificate and $1,000 for use in the wing's Airman and Family Readiness Program office.