SA earns top award in largest NCOA class ever

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

If garnering the top award in Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education wasn’t impressive enough, how about receiving it as the #1 graduate in the largest Noncommissioned Officer Academy Class of all time.


That’s the scenario experienced by Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Nicholas Linsalata, Superintendent, Detachment 114, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., who graduated the NCOA at Sheppard AFB, Texas Feb. 21, 2020, and was recognized as the John L. Levitow Award winner.


The Sheppard student registrar office confirmed it was the largest NCOA class in history with a total of 304 students. 


“It was very humbling to receive that award.  “More than anything, it’s a reflection of the people I have been blessed to call my family and lucky enough to call my teammates in and out of the command,” SA Linsalata said. “Without any of their support and guidance I would not be anywhere close to the person I am, and certainly would not have received that award.


The John Levitow Award is the highest honor presented to a graduate of Air Force Enlisted PME. It’s presented to the student demonstrating the most outstanding leadership and scholastic qualities. Selection for the Levitow Award is based on academic performance, and assignment of points by his peers and instructors. 


“It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a plaque big enough to put all of my family and teammates names on, because they deserve all the credit,” SA Linsalata said.


Excluding the Army Air Corps recipients from World War II, John Levitow was the first enlisted member of the United States Air Force to receive the Medal of Honor, and until his death in 2000, was the only living enlisted Air Force Medal of Honor recipient.