St. Peters guardsman honored as 2012 Missouri Outstanding Airman of the Year.
By Bill Phelan, Special to the 13st Bomb Wing
/ Published December 12, 2011
ST. PETERS, Mo -- A St. Peters man who enlisted in the military, in part because of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, is now the 2012 Missouri Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year.
Senior Airman Christopher Scott Krueger, 30, serves as a collections requirements manager with the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division of the 157th Air Operations Group, headquartered at Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County.
"I cannot think of a higher honor that I could obtain at this point in my career," Krueger said of his selection. "Having this kind of honor bestowed upon me means I must be doing something right in the eyes of my peers."
A four and a half year Guard veteran, Krueger admitted being "infuriated" by the 9-11 terrorist attacks and felt the need to do more than just be angry.
"The terrorist attacks really impacted me to do something with my life other than have a 9 to 5 job," Krueger explained. "I just felt like there was something more I needed to accomplish, plus I'm third generation military. My father retired from the Coast Guard as a master chief and my grandfather served in the Navy."
After joining the Air National Guard, Krueger had no doubt what military occupation he would seek.
"From day one I wanted to do something that would have an impact and prevent something like 9-11 from ever happening again," he said. "I kept seeing how intelligence was so important in fighting the War on Terror so I joined the Air National Guard with the intent of working in the intelligence community."
Krueger's dedication comes as no surprise to his commanding officer, Col. Clarence "Chip" Atterbury, III.
"Airman Krueger is a superior performer," Atterbury said. "He is focused; he is dedicated and displays a high level of professionalism. I'm confident that he would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his active duty counterparts. He is a credit not only to the Missouri Air National Guard but to the Air Force as a whole."
Like many Guardsmen, Krueger wanted to serve the country while pursuing an education and a civilian career; in his case, as a research analyst supporting the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in St. Louis.
"The National Guard gives you the option to wear two hats," he said. "It just made sense from an educational standpoint to take advantage of the benefits that the Guard has to offer, plus it gave me the opportunity to serve in the military."
Krueger is a 1999 graduate of Murray High School in Murray, KY and attended Murray State University. He is now a senior at Lindenwood University in St. Charles where he is majoring in information technology.
He and his wife, Amanda, are the proud parents of a daughter.
As Missouri Air National Guard Airman of the Year, Krueger is now eligible for the same honor at the national level, along with three fellow Missouri Airmen in other categories. They are; Master Sgt. Eric Gremminger, of the 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base and Lambert-Saint Louis, the Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; Master Sgt. Sheldon Matthews of the 239th Combat Communications Squadron at Lambert-Saint Louis, the First Sergeant of the Year; and Tech. Sgt. Frederick G. Pierce, of the 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joseph, the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.