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182nd Airlift Wing photojournalist wins NGB media award

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, practices photography at the Defense Information School, Ft. Meade, Md., Nov. 4, 2013. The National Guard Bureau named Buehrer the Outstanding New Photographer for the Air National Guard Feb. 3, 2014 for his photography work submitted to the bureau’s media contest. The annual award recognizes an enlisted or civilian public affairs professional who has worked in the field 24 months or less through evaluation of five photographs taken that year. (Courtesy photo by U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Neil Gussman/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, practices photography at the Defense Information School, Ft. Meade, Md., Nov. 4, 2013. The National Guard Bureau named Buehrer the Outstanding New Photographer for the Air National Guard Feb. 3, 2014 for his photography work submitted to the bureau’s media contest. The annual award recognizes an enlisted or civilian public affairs professional who has worked in the field 24 months or less through evaluation of five photographs taken that year. (Courtesy photo by U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Neil Gussman/Released)

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior non-commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces, speaks to Illinois soldiers and airmen at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., April 6, 2013. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior non-commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces, speaks to Illinois soldiers and airmen at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., April 6, 2013. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

U.S. Air Force firefighters with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron combat a kerosene-based jet fuel fire at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., May 13, 2013. The firefighters tested the capabilities of their P-34 Rapid Intervention Vehicle’s ultra-high pressure water dispersal technology during the controlled burn exercise. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

U.S. Air Force firefighters with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron combat a kerosene-based jet fuel fire at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., May 13, 2013. The firefighters tested the capabilities of their P-34 Rapid Intervention Vehicle’s ultra-high pressure water dispersal technology during the controlled burn exercise. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

Illinois Air National Guard C-130H3 Hercules aircraft conduct a flyby over the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., June 2, 2013. The military transport planes created a rare occurrence when seven of the Air National Guard Base’s aircraft flew together simultaneously in formation. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

Illinois Air National Guard C-130H3 Hercules aircraft conduct a flyby over the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., June 2, 2013. The military transport planes created a rare occurrence when seven of the Air National Guard Base’s aircraft flew together simultaneously in formation. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

Member of the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing and fellow service members salute a U.S. Armed Forces veteran as he makes his return home from the inaugural Greater Peoria Honor Flight at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Ill., June 4, 2013. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

Member of the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing and fellow service members salute a U.S. Armed Forces veteran as he makes his return home from the inaugural Greater Peoria Honor Flight at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Ill., June 4, 2013. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicholas A. Connell of the 182nd Airlift Wing greets a U.S. Armed Forces veteran after his return home from the inaugural Greater Peoria Honor Flight at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Ill., June 4, 2013. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicholas A. Connell of the 182nd Airlift Wing greets a U.S. Armed Forces veteran after his return home from the inaugural Greater Peoria Honor Flight at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Ill., June 4, 2013. The photo was one of five by Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer, photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing, submitted to the National Guard Bureau media contest. Buehrer was announced the winner of the Air National Guard Outstanding New Photographer category on Feb. 3, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

PEORIA, Ill. -- A photojournalist with the 182nd Airlift Wing was awarded Outstanding New Photographer for the Air National Guard Feb. 3 for his work submitted to the National Guard Bureau Media Contest.

The award recognizes an enlisted airman through the rank of technical sergeant working in public affairs and department of the Air Force public affairs civilians working within their job series for 24 months or less. Entrants were evaluated through five photographs taken during the year.

"It's very gratifying to have some of my work validated by my community," said Illinois Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Lealan C. Buehrer of Marquette Heights, Ill., upon learning of his award. "To me, it means that I've got talented supervisors and that I'm learning from them. I think learning is one of the most important factors of becoming a professional."

Prior to becoming a photojournalist, Buehrer served as a security forces craftsman in the 182nd Security Forces Squadron. He was hired as a public affairs specialist and completed technical school at the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Md., in November 2013.

Buehrer's supervisor and public affairs officer, Maj. William D. Soddy, supported Buehrer's decision to enter the media contest.

"Staff Sergeant Buehrer is an above average, enthusiastic photographer who joined the 3N0X5 career field in November 2012. His demonstrated passion for learning is clearly reflected in his photography style, and his photography products are almost exclusively created through self-starting and initiative," Soddy stated in Buehrer's nomination letter.

The National Guard Bureau Media Contest recognizes Army National Guard and Air National Guard public affairs professionals for outstanding achievement in furthering the objectives of the Department of Defense internal information program. The Air National Guard winners will now compete the Air Force Media Contest, which will take place in March.