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91st defender named one of Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year
Staff Sgt. David Wallace III, 91st Security Forces Group plans and programs section, poses for a photo at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., May 9, 2014. Wallace was named one of 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Y. Auld)
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91st defender named one of Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

Posted 5/12/2014   Updated 5/13/2014 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Brittany Y. Auld
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

5/12/2014 - MINOT AIR FORCE, N.D -- Becoming one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year takes superior leadership, outstanding job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements.

Once an Airman is nominated by their leadership, he or she will go on to compete against Airmen in their specific Major Command. After winning at the MAJCOM level the Airman goes on to compete at the Air Force level, competing with other Airmen who have also won at their MAJCOM level.

"The Air Force 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year award is huge and rarely seen at the base level," said Col. Kevin P. Cullen, 91st Security Force Group commander. "In fact, I've only met one other award winner in my entire 22-year career."

For Norfolk, Virginia, native, Staff Sgt. David Wallace III, competing, let alone winning, was never in his plans when he joined the Air Force.

"It's still surreal even for me now," said Wallace.

Before joining the Air Force, four years ago, Wallace worked as a bank teller, an information technology assistant and was a student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he studied law.

"I came in open general, and I haven't looked back ever since," said Wallace. "The lord has blessed me, so I'm pretty ecstatic to be where I am."

Wallace works in the plans and programs section of the 91st Security Forces Group. His duties include providing tactical and strategic support for the security movements of vital national assets across 8,500 square miles of prairies of North Dakota.

He's been awarded below the zone in 2012, 2013 Air Force Global Strike Command Airman of the Quarter and Air Force's 2013 Outstanding Security Forces Support Staff Airman of the Year.

Wallace found out he was now one of the 12 OAY from the AFGSC commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson.

"It completely went right pass me, when he said it," started Wallace, "but when I got off the phone with him I realized this was something pretty big."

Wallace said with hard work and dedication, your feats will begin to speak for themselves.

"If you keep doing your job every day and doing it well, I don't see why you wouldn't be recognized for your actions," said Wallace. "And if you aren't for some reason, keep pressing forward because you're not only making yourself better, but you're making the Air Force better as a whole."

While he was competing within the 91st SFG, Wallace had a philosophy he used: "If I win, great, but I'm going to go in with high hopes and whatever the outcome is I'm just going to press forward. If I don't win, I'm still going to be the same person I am today."

Wallace was recognized as a "superior performer" during the base's Air Force Global Strike Command staff assistance visit. He reinvigorated seven-year-old Site Defense Plans for 165 strategic facilities. He has also performed as an exercise controller during three major wing-level training events, leaving a lasting impression on all Airmen from his peers to his leadership.

"This is a great accomplishment, and it attests to the great men and women we have in the 91st Missile Wing and at Minot AFB," said Col. Robert Vercher, 91st MW commander. "I've never been stationed with a 12 OAY and feel honored to be here at Minot with Staff. Sgt. Wallace."

Wallace says he's fairly new to the Air Force but he hit the ground running and will continue to run.

"As one of the 12 OAY, I believe I'm in a position where I can be a voice for others, the Airmen stationed at Minot AFB or other AFGSC bases even beyond that," said Wallace. "I want to be able to take in and absorb and listen to what other people are telling me."

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