Malmstrom airman recognized among 12 best in Air Force

Senior Airman Kaitlyn Callahan

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE – Senior Airman Kaitlyn Callahan of Malmstrom Air Force Base was one of 12 people in the U.S. Air Force to receive the Outstanding Airman of the Year Award for 2017.

The 12 airmen were selected based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements.

Callahan is the only airman from MAFB who received the award.

SrA Callahan is a physical therapy technician at the 341st Medical Group at Malmstrom.

“You have to win Wing first, then you go up the Major Command level,” Callahan explained, referring to progressively higher levels of authority. “Then they pick from there and then you move up to Air Force level. That is where they pick 12 people.”

Callahan is not only a part of many different groups on the Base, but she also volunteers her time and skills to nonprofits.

“It’s unbelievable, it is pretty humbling,” she said. “I did not expect to get this far at all. I was surprised when I won at the Wing, to be honest with you. I don’t know how to explain the feeling that I have for winning this award.”

Technical Sergeant Crystal Roatch said Callahan deserves the award because she has overcome personal and military obstacles to get to where she is today.

“When it came to the ‘whole airman’ concept, she embodied that for the year,” Roatch said. “She didn’t think she did, but she didn’t give herself enough credit.”

Callahan and her fellow recipients were recognized at the Air Force Association Convention in Washington.

The citation to accompany her award reads as follows:

SrA. Kaitlyn J. Callahan served as a physical therapy supervisor for eight months, treated 6,900 patients, and led her flight in winning the wing’s 2016 Professional Team of the Third Quarter award. Callahan’s oversight of two flight safety programs and 14,000 medical record reviews led to the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Survey hailing the group as the “best-seen clinic in 35 years and 480 inspections” and the group’s Personnel Reliability Program’s “Outstanding” rating during the 2015 Nuclear Surety Inspection. Callahan volunteered 40 hours aiding disabled children and served as an Honor Guard member, completing 24 details. Finally, she won the 2016 US Air Force Physical Medicine Airman of the Year award.