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The Wisconsin National Guard’s official publication, @ease, earned a first-place award in the National Guard Bureau Media Contest. That marks the fifth straight year the web-based publication has received top honors from National Guard judges, and the fourth consecutive first-place finish.

“This is obviously a great honor, and a tremendous validation from our professional peers in the public affairs field,” said Maj. Paul Rickert, public affairs director for the Wisconsin National Guard. “A publication like this is not an individual effort – it’s really like a collective exercise, where everyone contributes to the final product. This award is possible because of the skills of our Soldiers and Airmen who tell the story of the Wisconsin National Guard.”

Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, expressed his pleasure at the news.

“This national recognition is a substantial achievement,” Dunbar said. “Without a doubt this reflects directly on the great work of our public affairs professionals – both Soldiers and Airmen – and the execution in our Public Affairs Office. It would be impossible to execute our mission without effective communications. I couldn’t be prouder of this team.”

@ease will now be judged against the best digital publications across the Army in the Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition. The top finisher at that level will advance to the Department of Defense’s Thomas Jefferson Awards later this month.

The Wisconsin Air National Guard’s Tech. Sgt. Jon LaDue will also compete in two categories in the Air Force Public Affairs Contest – Television News Report, and Air Force Military Broadcaster of the Year.