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Old 21 January 2013, 10:53
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delta447 delta447 is offline
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Thumbs up 3 AFSOC Airmen recieve Sijan Award

Congratulations to each of them.
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HURLBURT FIELD, FL - Three Air Force Special Operations Command Airmen at the tip of the spear received one of the Air Force's most prestigious awards, the 2012 Lance P. Sijan USAF leadership award.

The award recognizes Airmen who exemplify the highest forms of leadership not only at work but in the community and their personal lives.

This is the first time AFSOC Airmen have been selected in three of four categories.

Lt. Col. Nathan Green, commander of the 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the recipient in the senior officer category.

Captain Blake Luttrell, a special tactics officer assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, NC, is the recipient in the junior officer category.

Senior Master Sgt. Davide Keaton, a pararescuemen assigned to the 720th Operations Support Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the recipient in the senior enlisted category.

The award requires candidates demonstrate leadership through scope of responsibility, professional leadership, leadership image and community involvement.

All three Airmen have something in common when it comes to leadership -people are their priority.

Green commanded AFSOC's largest, manned flying squadron containing AC-130Us.

He also led the integration of seven Emirati special operations forces airframes into coalition operations, according to the award citation.

Green said he is extremely grateful to be honored with this award. He credits his leaders, mentors and family for shaping and supporting him throughout his Air Force career.

"I am speechless and very humbled to be able to lead our Airmen, especially in AFSOC," he said. "This award is a testament to them."

Communication is central to his leadership style. The Airmen have great capabilities to put the commander's intent in action so long as that intent is conveyed clearly, he said.

"There are many facets to leadership - sometimes you have to be a coach, sometimes a teacher," Green said. "You have to lead by example, and you have to trust your people."

Luttrell was awarded the Silver Star, the nation's third highest combat decoration, in January 2012 for gallantry in combat. He pulled his wounded team medic from a cave while under intense enemy fire and administered immediate medical treatment.

As the only Airman on an Army special operations forces team, he engaged in combat operations spanning 150 days including 25 high-risk missions resulting in 29 enemy combatants eliminated, according to the award citation.

He also instructed Afghan Army and local police force members on close quarter battle, assisting the transition effort in Afghanistan.

Luttrell says he learns just as much if not more from his people than they do from him.

"A leader is someone who is willing to listen to input, but isn't afraid to make tough decisions," he said.

Keaton, who completed his own tenth Global War on Terror deployment in 2012, also guided 14 deployments across four theaters that resulted in 3,023 combat operations and 568 enemy combatants eliminated, according to the award citation.

While stateside, he also saved a 74-year-old woman from drowning in a submerged car when an automobile accident caused her to run off the road into a lake. An onlooker appeared with a hammer, Keaton said. Keaton grabbed it, broke the window and removed her from the vehicle.

Like Green, Keaton, who characterizes himself as a really down-to-earth guy, said he is also humbled to be selected for the Sijan award.

Keaton credits special tactics for emphasizing the importance of getting the job done and encouraging Airmen to test their limitations, like Sijan was called to do.

To Keaton, leadership means taking care of your people.

"The most critical part of any project you work on are the people," he said.

The Lance P. Sijan USAF leadership award bears the namesake of the Medal of Honor recipient who was shot down in his F-4C Phantom fighter jet over Vietnam in 1967.

For 45 days, Sijan evaded enemy forces, and when he was captured and tortured, he refused to divulge any information beyond what is permissible by the Geneva Conventions until he died in the Hanoi Hilton, January 1968.
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http://www2.afsoc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123332120
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Old 21 January 2013, 12:13
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Thumbs up

Great group of men, congrats to them all.
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Old 21 January 2013, 12:20
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The AFSOC guys doubtlessly know Sijan's backstory, as do AFA alumni (unless Sijan Hall's been renamed?). For those in the readership who are unfamiliar, I highly recommend Malcolm McConnell's Into the Mouth of the Cat. McConnell, a former POW who was locked up with Sijan described his ordeal in considerable detail following his own release some seven years later, after having committed it to memory. McConnell's statements were key in supporting Sijan's posthumous MOH.

The last time I read this book was in the mid-1980s and parts of it still stand out. Still available from several big-chain booksellers (e.g.: Amazon, B&N) and well worth the departure with a few dollars to read it.

An award named for Sijan, the AFA's first graduate to receive the MOH, is a very prestigious thing indeed. Well done, from another ex-Bluesuiter!
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Old 23 January 2013, 21:11
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For those that may know Keaton... go Yo-Yo!!!
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Old 24 January 2013, 12:13
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I was very pleased to hear this. Yo Yo has had more than his share of bad things happen in his lifetime. It is good to see some good things happen for him. Yes!!
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Old 24 January 2013, 21:39
AFpj AFpj is offline
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Yes, indeed! That guy should write a book. I was his team member in Sep of 01, and he was quite exhausted with the military at that time. Now to see him, you would think he will be truckin' on for another 20.
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Old 25 January 2013, 15:53
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Remington Raider Remington Raider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS-G View Post
The AFSOC guys doubtlessly know Sijan's backstory, as do AFA alumni (unless Sijan Hall's been renamed?). For those in the readership who are unfamiliar, I highly recommend Malcolm McConnell's Into the Mouth of the Cat. McConnell, a former POW who was locked up with Sijan described his ordeal in considerable detail following his own release some seven years later, after having committed it to memory. McConnell's statements were key in supporting Sijan's posthumous MOH.

The last time I read this book was in the mid-1980s and parts of it still stand out. Still available from several big-chain booksellers (e.g.: Amazon, B&N) and well worth the departure with a few dollars to read it.

An award named for Sijan, the AFA's first graduate to receive the MOH, is a very prestigious thing indeed. Well done, from another ex-Bluesuiter!
A Milwaukee native, from Bay View. I think the family still stays in the house that overlooks Lake Michigan. RIP CPT.
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Old 8 March 2013, 11:31
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And now, the rest of the story: One sunny day in Vietnam, a rescue helicopter pilot made the bad decision NOT to deploy his PJ's even though he knew the downed pilot was wounded badly. The times they called him, this brave pilot would answer, "I can make it!", and this confidence assured the helicopter pilot that he had made the right decision. But, as they sat in the hover waiting. the pilot was slow getting there. FORTY-FIVE minutes into this hover, waiting, for the pilot to "make it", the Jolly took ground fire had to retreat the area leaving that pilot to be captured by the enemy. That pilot's name was; Lance P. Sijan. Who, SHOULD have been a very brave pilot that was mostly unknown but saved and alive today, instead of a very brave hero, known to all for what he did while a prisoner, but very dead. Just my two pesos worth.
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