Alabama Airman Awarded Outstanding Woman of the Year

Master Sgt. Latonya J. June at her desk with the 117th Intelligence Squadron. June is the 2016 winner of the Alabama National Guard's Outstanding Woman of the Year award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Airman 1st Class Lee Murphy)

Master Sgt. Latonya J. June at her desk with the 117th Intelligence Squadron. June is the 2016 winner of the Alabama National Guard's Outstanding Woman of the Year award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Airman 1st Class Lee Murphy)


The Alabama National Guard, much like the larger U.S. military as a whole, is a varied organization. Members come from all walks of life, from families where the military is a tradition, as well as those who are the first to serve. However, the popular image of the “military member” in many people’s minds is still a masculine wall of muscle coupled with a thousand-yard stare, in other words, a G.I Joe action figure come to life.

Yet, this is rarely accurate, and often completely misses about 20 percent of the military who belong to an exclusive group: women.

Master Sgt. La’Tonya June, the 117th Intelligence Squadron’s First Sergeant, belongs to that exclusive group. She now holds the distinction of being the first member of the 117th Air Refueling Wing to win the Alabama National Guard Outstanding Woman of the Year Award. June has served with the National Guard for 11 years and is the non-commissioned officer in charge of the 117 IS. She also works as a geospatial analyst in addition to her duties as first sergeant.

June is also an active member in the community. She often contributes to Hoover High School’s Step Program, which helps at-risk students acclimate to the pressures of adolescent life. It is rewarding for her to hear their stories and the trouble that they have had to face in their lives. The students she’s helped still call her to chat about life.

June decided to contribute to Gateway Birmingham, which is Birmingham’s oldest nonprofit organization designed to help families and children in need, after hearing from a fellow airman about her experience there.

“We’ve donated to them and went for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving them beds, doing nails and make-up, just hanging out with the kids so that they have someone to come visit them during the holidays so they know they’re not forgotten,” said June.

Girls everywhere should know that there is a place for them in the military, which can sometimes seem like a “boy’s only” club, if they want to work for it, said June.

“Absolutely believe in yourself, and don’t be tainted by what you perceive the world may think of you,” said June. “Just go for it, don’t think too much about it, know your job and do it well.”

At the end of the day, it’s about the work, said June, and if you do the work with everything you have, your gender doesn’t matter. 

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.