CARSON CITY — Nevada Air Guard Senior Master Sgt. Torry Thompson distinguished himself from the roughly 110,000 Airmen in the entire Air National Guard to receive the 2014 Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award from the NAACP in Las Vegas last week.
The Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award is presented annually to one service member from each branch of the military and one Department of Defense civilian. The award named for the former civil rights activist and leader of the NAACP who led many of the successful civil rights campaigns in America during the 1960s.
The award recognizes military service members and Department of Defense civilian employees who have supported the DoD’s mission or overseas contingency operations and whose service epitomize the qualities and core values of their respective military branch. Recipients also enthusiastically support the civil rights movement in the armed forces and federal civilian workforce.
Thompson, the superintendent in the state headquarters military personnel management office, represented the entire Air National Guard when receiving his award, which was presented during the 2014 Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Awards portion of the NAACP’s 105th annual Convention. Including Thompson, only eight people received the award.
Thompson is also the State Diversity Initiatives Coordinator for the Nevada Military Department. Thompson is the first airmen in the Nevada Guard and only Air National Guardsman in the nation who serves as both a non-commissioned officer and State Diversity Initiatives Coordinator.
“It was very humbling to be nominated. I was excited to represent the Air National Guard and the state,” said Thompson, who resides in Reno. “I’m please to work in a state where the adjutant general has made diversity a priority.”
According to the NAACP, Thompson distinguished himself in 2013 by providing outstanding service and commitment in developing the Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Education program for the 152nd Airlift Wing. He also assisted in the development of the base diversity policy that formulated the Commander’s Wing Diversity Policy. He also was instrumental in starting the George W. Porter Tuskegee Airmen Chapter in Reno and currently he serves as the chapter’s president.
Thompson, 38, is a native of Alexandria, La., and a 1993 graduate of McQueen High School in Reno. He joined the Nevada Air Guard in 1994 and has recorded 20 years of military service.
In addition to the state headquarters, Thompson has served in the Nevada Air Guard with the 152nd Reconnaissance Group Command Post, the 152nd Logistics Readiness Squadron and 152nd Mission Support Group. In 2006-2007, he was the first sergeant for the 152nd Mission Support Group. In June 2007, he transferred to the Nevada Air Guard’s state headquarters.