SJAFB Airman earns Lt. Col. Anthony C. Shine Award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sabrina Fuller-Judd
  • 4th Fighter Wing

U.S. Air Force Capt. Morgan Curriden, an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, assigned to the 335th Fighter Generation Squadron, earned the Lt. Col. Anthony C. Shine Award at Seymour Johnson Air Force base, North Carolina, Dec. 15, 2023.

The award is given annually to a pilot who is both adept at flying a fighter aircraft and heavily involved in the community. Each applicable U.S. Air Force Major Command submits one nominee who is evaluated based on their performance.

In 1972, Lt. Col. Anthony Shine went missing in action, his memory is honored through this award, which sets an example for Airmen today to uphold themselves to a higher standard of valor. This award is a tribute to his service and legacy, and therefore is presented to pilots like Curriden who most exemplified Shine’s values and characteristics.

Curriden’s accomplishments, all of which occurred during his deployment, earned him this award by leading events with Israeli Air Force service members and organizing several Agile Combat Employment exercises in the Middle East. He was a flight lead who guided two F-15E Strike Eagle pilots to intercept four Russian aircraft, who were trespassing coalition airspace. This ensured the U.S. Central Command coalition dominance and safeguarded personnel.

“Those men who walked out the door and went to war knew that there was a good chance that they were not coming back, and they went anyway; that conviction creates a responsibility for the rest of us that still serve in the military,” said Curriden. “I hope that by remembering them, it makes us a little bit more courageous and honorable as we put on the uniform everyday.”

To present the award and participate as guest speakers at the event, Gen. Mark Kelly, Air Combat Command commander, accompanied by Colleen Shine, daughter of Lt. Col. Shine, traveled to Seymour Johnson AFB to present Curriden with the award.

“This award celebrates the core values of our Air Force and the culture and professionalism of our fighter pilots, who represent [us] everyday often over enemy territory,” said Kelly.

Curriden represents one of many Airmen assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing, who help secure our air and skies by embracing heritage, legacy and people, to foster and develop exceptional leaders in the U.S. Air Force.