HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade received four awards at the 2011 Army Aviation Association of America Annual Professional Forum and Exposition, April 18, at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

"It's always great to have our Soldiers recognized publicly for the work they do behind the scenes," said Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Stidley, command sergeant major for 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade. "Two of these awards will be given to the leadership, but it truly represents what the unit accomplished as a whole during our last deployment to Afghanistan. These awards are a testament to the hard work our Soldiers put into their jobs."

The AAAA Professional Forum and Exposition awarded 11 national awards with eight of the categories available to active-duty units and or individual Soldiers. Of those 11 national awards, 3rd CAB walked away with four: The NCO of the Year was awarded to Sgt. 1st Class Rafael Lopez, a maintenance platoon sergeant for Company D, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd CAB; the Active Aviation Unit of the Year was presented to 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd CAB, and the Outstanding Aviation Unit of the Year was presented to the 3rd CAB.

For Spc. Cory Frazee, a Chinook repair technician with Company B, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, who received the Army Aviation Soldier of the Year award, the presentation of the award was humbling and rewarding.

"It's one thing to hear that you won an award but to actually come here and see all those people there affirming that you are the Army Aviation Soldier of the Year is really humbling," said Spc. Frazee. "Here I am thinking I'm just doing my job, I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing - you don't think other people are watching you. It's nice to be recognized, but really I just feel like I'm just another Chinook mechanic."