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WYNG Communicators earn two defense media awards

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The Joint Forces Headquarters Public Affairs team of the Wyoming National Guard proudly announces its recent victories in the esteemed Defense Media Merit Awards. Recognized for outstanding contributions in journalism and videography, the team clinched top honors in the Publication category for the 2022 Cowboy Guard and secured second place in the Short-form Production Video category for their showcase of the 2023 Vigilant Guard exercise.

The Cowboy Guard publication, a collaborative effort led by Capt. Alyssa Hinckley with support from Master Sgt. Jacqueline Alderman and Sgt. Kristina Kranz, garnered first place recognition. This marks the fourth consecutive year the team has been honored by the Department of Defense for their exemplary work in showcasing the remarkable achievements of the Wyoming Military Department and Wyoming National Guard in the Publication category. The winning 2022 Cowboy Guard features stories crafted by the entire public affairs team, including contributors from the 153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs, 197th Public Affairs Detachment, and JFHQ Public Affairs.

“We are immensely proud of our Public Affair team’s consistent success in receiving the prestigious Department of Defense Media Merit Awards,” stated Maj. General Greg Porter, Wyoming adjutant general. “Our commitment to excellence and dedication to storytelling has once again been recognized on a national stage.”

Additionally, the team’s Short-form Production Video, titled “Wyoming National Guard Unites for Vigilant Guard,” achieved second place in the DMMA competition. Produced by Major Craig Heilig, Master Sgt. Jacqueline Alderman, and Senior Airman Zachary Herold, the video captured the essence of the inaugural Vigilant Guard exercise held from June 12-15, 2023. Through collaborative efforts with statewide partners, the exercise aimed to simulate a significant disaster scenario, thus enhancing community safety and readiness. Notably, the video prominently featured the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and its partnership with the Wyoming National Guard.

The DMMA program acknowledges excellence across various disciplines within the Defense Department, including print and broadcast journalism, graphic design, photography, public affairs, and videography. This national recognition underscores the team’s commitment to excellence and innovation in storytelling within the military community.

To view the award-winning publication and video, visit:

Cowboy Guard Publication:

Vigilant Guard Short-Form Video Production:

View All Award Winners:

About Defense Media Merit Awards:

The Defense Media Merit Awards program recognizes excellence among the Defense Department’s print and broadcast journalists, graphic artists, photographers, public affairs specialists, and videographers assigned to combatant commands, joint task forces, defense agencies, and field activities.