Tech. Sgt. Jon LaDue, a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing based in Madison, Wis., was named the U.S. Air Force's Military Broadcast Journalist of the Year in the 56th annual Air Force Media Contest.
LaDue, currently on assignment as news director and combat correspondent with the Air National Guard's Training and Education Center's Media and Engagement Division at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tenn., also took second place in the Television News Report category for a broadcast story he produced during a 2013 deployment about a joint health program between the United States and Uganda.
"Honestly, these awards provide a great amount of personal pride and satisfaction to me because they represent a time in my life where I worked hard to excel, both personally and professionally," LaDue said. " At the same time, I almost feel guilty for being recognized for serving a public affairs mission that I'm so passionate about."
LaDue credited his leaders and peers in the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin National Guard and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa for helping him succeed. He described his recent deployment as a humbling yet proud experience.
"Helping to tell the Air National Guard and Air Force story has become more like a hobby than a job, and I'm so thankful for that," he said.
"This is a tremendous honor, and I am very proud of Tech. Sgt. LaDue," said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general. "I am greatly pleased that the Air Force has discovered what we've known here in Wisconsin for some time ó Tech. Sgt. LaDue knows how to tell a story."
The Air Force Media Contest is a public affairs competition for active duty, National Guard, Reserve and Air Force civilians. The competition is sponsored by the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office and administered by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate and reward excellence and professionalism in the military public affairs field.
LaDue will now be judged against the top military broadcast journalists from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard in the Department of Defense Thomas Jefferson Awards.