Rebholz receives Maj. Richard I. Bong Award at ESGR Breakfast with the Boss

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jenna Lenski
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing
Senior Master Sgt. William J. Rebholz, the chief quality assurance inspector assigned to the maintenance group of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard, received the Richard I. Bong Award at the Breakfast with the Boss event hosted by Wisconsin Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve May 11.

Maj. Richard I. Bong, a Wisconsin native, is the top American air ace of all wars having destroyed 40 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during World War II.  He was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces and a Medal of Honor recipient.  The award in his honor is given by the Milwaukee Armed Services Committee to Wisconsin service members who have displayed outstanding skill, dedication, and professionalism on and off duty.

Rebholz distinguished himself in outstanding service with the 128 ARW as he oversaw and managed the evaluation and validation of maintenance action on the KC-135 weapon system and its associated support equipment.

"Maj. Richard I. Bong is the best of the best, and the fact that Senior Master Sgt. Rebholz was recognized is a testament to him being the best of the best," said Col. Daniel Yenchesky, commander of the 128 ARW. 

"The maintenance community relies on quality assurance. It's kind of a backbone of discipline.  It's a discipline that when times get tough, the mission keeps going. And he is an advocate for that kind of discipline and he ensures that it's engrained in all that we do," said Yenchesky.

The award presentation took place during the ESGR Breakfast with the Boss, an event that recognizes the civilian employers of guardsmen and reservists for the support and flexibility they give to service members.

"The family, the Airmen and the employers work together to make a very, very strong team," said Yenchesky.  "Each of them provides a piece of that team work puzzle.  At different times, we rely more heavily on one or the other but, the employer support of the Guard and Reserve is essential to make it work. The only way the Air National Guard works at the operations tempo that we're at right now and the operations tempo that we're going to maintain over the next six to ten years is with support of the families and the employers.  We're asking a lot from them and it's important that they're recognized and that they know the work they're doing to support their Airmen pays off and is an essential piece of that puzzle."

The ESGR Breakfast with the Boss kicked off Milwaukee Armed Forces Week, which is the largest military recognition week in the nation.