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UPDATED: Chambers Named Iowa Airman Of The Year

Sheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon man has again been named Iowa Airman of The Year in the First Sergeant category.
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The Iowa Air National Guard Headquarters in Des Moines says Senior Master Sgt. Royd Chambers received the honor along with three individuals in other categories. They say all four will be forwarded for consideration for the national award.

The criteria for the Airman of the Year award are based on job performance, leadership in primary duties, significant self-improvement, and involvement in base and surrounding community activities. He tells us about the award.


Chambers, of the 185th Air Refueling Wing and Operations Group is a Sheldon resident, who originally joined the Air Force in 1979 and served four years active duty as a Command and Control Specialist. After a 17-year break in service, he joined the Iowa Air National Guard in 2000 as a Chaplain Assistant. In 2011, he became the first sergeant with the 185th Mission Support Group.

Chambers is a full-time teacher and believes education plays a major factor in every Airman’s career. The Air National Guard says Chambers has been putting these principles into practice as an instructor at the Sheldon Community School District the past 20 years.

Chambers is no stranger to the Airmen of the Year program having earned the award on three previous occasions — once as an NCO at the group level and two times as an Airman.

He tells us how he feels about the honor.


Chambers says that in his current position, he serves as an advisor to the commander. He says in the civilian world it would be closest to human resources. But Chambers says he’s responsible for the well-being of each airman in their military career and their personal lives.

Chambers says that service before self is not just a motto in his current position, it is the most important piece of the job description.

“You just try to serve those around you the best you can. That’s what the first shirt business is all about, serving people. I really have enjoyed being a first sergeant for the 185th, it’s the best job I’ve ever had,” says Chambers.

In addition to being selected at the state level, each of the Airmen from the Hawkeye State are awarded the Iowa National Guard Meritorious Service Medal.

Chambers has also served as an Iowa State Representative. He last served in the legislature in 2012 after redistricting put Chambers and Representative Dan Huseman in the same district.

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