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128 ARW first sergeant rises to national recognition

Master Sgt. Michael J. Krausz, the maintenance squadron first sergeant at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, was announced the Wisconsin Air National Guard First Sergeant of the Year because of his continuous outstanding job performance.

Master Sgt. Michael J. Krausz, the maintenance squadron first sergeant at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, was announced the Wisconsin Air National Guard First Sergeant of the Year because of his continuous outstanding job performance.

MILWAUKEE -- An ordinary day in his shoes is chaotic, but it is the kind of chaos he loves to be a part of. With meetings and counselings clogging his daily schedule, one may think the job as an Air Force first sergeant would be a daunting duty, but Master Sgt. Michael J. Krausz has excelled at the task.

Krausz, the maintenance squadron first sergeant here at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, was announced the Wisconsin Air National Guard First Sergeant of the Year because of his continuous outstanding job performance.

Krausz's military career began in 1997 when he enlisted into the U.S. Air force as an aircraft electrician. In 2008, Krausz transitioned to the Wisconsin Air National Guard where he continued working as an aircraft electrician at the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wis. In 2011, he transferred to the 128 ARW.

When Krausz was promoted to first sergeant in 2013, he was surprised by how busy his life had become, he said.

"I am on the go nonstop," said Krausz. "This job is challenging, but also extremely rewarding."

As first sergeant, Krausz has several duties assigned to him.

"First sergeants are the direct link between the enlisted force and the group commanders," said Krausz. "We help the commanders make key decisions, we discipline, and help with the esprit de corps of the unit."

Even though his job can be challenging, Krausz takes great pride in his work.

"Helping an airman resolve their issues and later see the changes that came from resolving that issue... it's humbling to know that you were a part of it," said Krausz. "I do everything and anything I can to be there for the Airmen."

In his civilian life, Krausz volunteers in the local community by devoting countless hours to humanitarian effort organizations and has also offered assistance in the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

However, balancing his military and personal life is no easy task, he said. With his civilian and military careers taking up a large portion of his time, Krausz emphasized how important he feels it is to set aside personal time.

"You got to remember to take time for yourself and get away from work for a while," said Krausz.

As the state winner of the Wisconsin First Sergeant of the Year award, Krausz is now a nominee for the 2015 Air National Guard First Sergeant of the Year award at national-level, set to be announced in April.

"I feel honored to be a nominee for nationals," said Krausz. "This state has some of the best first sergeants out there and for me to be recognized among them is humbling."