First Lieutenant Steven Ortiz
First Lieutenant Steven Ortiz serves in the Massachusetts Air National Guard as the Services Readiness Officer and Commander of the Fatality Search and Recovery Team for the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, MA. Lieutenant Ortiz previously served as commander and conductor of the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast in Milford, MA and Hanscom Air Force Base from 2011-2013. Under his leadership, the band's various ensembles provided support for military units and events performing for tens of thousands of people every year throughout the nation.
Lieutenant Ortiz is the band director at Windsor High School where he leads various award-winning ensembles and teaches music theory. Musicians from Windsor High School frequently participate in honor ensembles such as the Northern Region and Connecticut All State Band and Orchestra, and the prestigious New England Music Festival Band and Orchestra. The band has performed in New York, Boston, Disney World, Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, Hershey Park, Virginia Beach, and Washington D.C.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Nugent
Lieutenant Ortiz is a 2005 summa cum laude graduate of Western Connecticut State University and completed graduate studies at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. He has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in both public and private schools in Connecticut.
His humanitarian, academic, and military achievements have led him to receive many awards and scholarships, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor which ranks among our nation's most prestigious honors. Each year, Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients are listed in the Congressional Record, honoring those who have made enduring contributions to our nation and to the world. Past recipients include Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and notable figures such as Rosa Parks, Cesar E. Chavez, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Itzhak Perlman, Joe DiMaggio, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Bob Hope, Quincy Jones, Mickey Mantle and many other distinguished entertainers, prominent religious figures, successful entrepreneurs, senators, congressmen, and military personnel.
Lieutenant Ortiz has been awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement medal and has also received Connecticut State Henry Barnard Award, and University of Hartford Graduate Regents' Award, both the most distinguished awards given by each university.