An Air Force honor granted for service and accomplishments arguably could not have been awarded to a busier recipient than Glendale Community College adjunct instructor James Keshavarz.
The 33-year-old La Crescenta resident and trainer at La Cañada Flintridge’s Taix Workout Studio was recently named the 452nd Air Mobility Wing Airman of the Year for 2018.
“As much work as I put in, I also have great leadership in my squadron,” Keshavarz said. “They’re the ones who made sure this happened. I personally felt that my entire squadron deserved the award, not just myself.”
The 452nd Air Mobility Wing Airman of the Year accolade is given annually to March Air Reserve Base’s top reserve.
Keshavarz is a member of the 752nd Medical Squadron within the 452nd Wing, and is known as a “Guardian of Life.”
“I do a lot of things,” Keshavarz said, chuckling. “In general, I’m on the medical management side of things. I help with the readiness of the squadron. I prepare people for deployment.
“So, I’m a trainer and I get airmen ready for boot camp, I get airmen ready for battle and also I give lectures on exercise physiology and all that good stuff within my base,” he added.
Keshavarz also takes on additional duties while on deployment and spends about 90 days a year at the base, though he’s only required to serve one weekend a month and two weeks per year.
On Tuesday evening, the former La Cañada Flintridge resident was honored by GCC’s board of trustees as a distinguished instructor and coach.
“Coach K is a model of what’s occurring with individuals all across the country who take time from their jobs, their families and their communities to serve our country in the reserves in that kind of manner,” GCC Supt./President David Viar said of Keshavarz.
Keshavarz, married to fellow Taix trainer Christina Pirard Keshavarz, instructs a variety of classes at GCC, including first aid and CPR and beginning and intermediate indoor cycling for fitness.
On top of teaching, Keshavarz is also an assistant track and field coach with GCC as well as at Crescenta Valley and La Cañada high schools. He also finds time for private practice as an exercise physiologist specializing in injury prevention and performance enhancement.
Keshavarz’s secret for handling such a grueling schedule is an early start.
“I have an alarm and wake up every day at 2:45 a.m.,” he said, adding that he finishes his work around 7:30 p.m.
Keshavarz’s honors may not yet be over as he’s in the running for the Air Force’s Airman of the Year accolade.
“Now they go deep and they look at everything the airman has done, from different missions to volunteer work and what they do on the outside,” Keshavarz said. “In my case, it would be coaching and teaching at Glendale College.”
Keshavarz is thankful for the awards but reiterates the recognition should be shared with others.
“It feels a little weird because it’s not just me,” he said. “My commander is deserving of the honor, my first sergeant, of all my wingmen. We do all these missions together as a team.”