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Authenticity a defining trait for Levitow winner

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Robert Brownson, 50th Mission Support Group contracting specialist, stands with his John Levitow Award after the Airmen Leadership School Graduation Ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2021.

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. -- U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Robert Brownson, 50th Mission Support Group contracting specialist, stands with his John Levitow Award after the Airmen Leadership School Graduation Ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2021. The John Levitow Award was named for John L. Levitow, who received the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War while at the rank of Airman 1st Class. Brownson did not expect to win the award, but his authenticity and respect for the gravity of leadership earned his peers and supervisors’ esteem. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. --

 U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Robert Brownson, 50th Mission Support Group contracting specialist, was awarded the John Levitow Award during the Airman Leadership School Graduation Ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2021. The John Levitow Award is given to a student based on scores of their leadership ability determined by both instructors and fellow students, and it is the highest award an enlisted service member can earn in Professional Military Education.

“I didn’t expect to win,” said Brownson. “I was just authentic and me the whole time. Even with that being the case, my peers thought of me highly enough to select me for it.”

Brownson, who was selected to promote to staff sergeant, came into ALS with a respect for the gravity of a supervisory position. During ALS, students focus on learning how to deal with leaders and subordinates who have different thought processes, mentalities and upbringings than their own.

“My main goal was to have the traits needed to be a good supervisor,” said Brownson. “Somebody’s career is in my hands. I don’t want to be in a position where I can affect them and then affect them negatively.”

Going forward, Brownson intends to commission. And while he doesn’t tie his what-you-see-is-what-you-get attitude to his earning the John Levitow Award, he has no plans to change that part of himself, and he will continue to apply it to his career.

“I’m not going to be motivated by how people see me,” he said. “I’m going to be motivated by who I am and what it is I have to do.”

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui