Meet Grissom’s Civilian Annual Award Winners for 2023

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexis Morris

During the February unit training assembly, the Hoosier Wing participated in a number of events and ceremonies. Between a change of command and a base visit by the Fourth Air Force command team, Team Grissom wanted to ensure that one celebration did not go overlooked or forgotten: the unveiling of this year’s wing-level annual award recipients.

Over the course of the past few weeks, the Public Affairs team has released a series of articles highlighting the eight men and women who received wing-level awards during this year’s ceremony. The final, below, highlights the civilian winners in the supervisor and non-supervisor categories.

Civilian Supervisor of the Year
Joshua Van Zuiden, 434th Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief of operations

Van Zuiden is a critical asset for the Grissom Fire Department’s day-to-day operations. Whether responding on- or off-base to calls, his reactionary and preventative contributions have made a significant impact on the wing’s readiness and stability.

Serving as the incident commander during an in-flight emergency, Van Zuiden ensured the safety of four crew members and an $88 million KC-135R Stratotanker. With this experience under his belt, he went out of his way to collaboratively author emergency flight response plans for KC-135 emergency operations.

Finally, as the station’s first supervisor station chief, he created a hiring process that ensures the most qualified and talented candidates are considered for positions, according to his nominator.

Civilian Non-supervisor of the Year
Kenneth Doan, 434th Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief for health and safety

Over the course of his inaugural year with the Hoosier Wing, Doan contributed significantly to the Grissom Fire Department’s success. In fact, he was also named Air Force Reserve Command’s 2023 Civilian Fire Officer of the Year earlier this year.

In addition to ensuring safety quality assurance across the fire station, where he eliminated 41 safety deficiencies, Doan also pioneered the agency’s first First Responder Mental Health Program. A comprehensive initiative, he established partnerships with six external mental health providers to safeguard the unit’s 53 firefighters.

Furthermore, he served as the incident safety officer at 16 local mutual aid emergencies, eliminating life safety hazards for 39 firefighters across eight departments. In total, he ensured zero injuries occurred and saved Miami County residents and businesses an estimated $1.3 million in property damage.