I was proud to wear the uniform of the United States Air Force for 30 years at 11 assignments, 7 stateside and 4 overseas. And of course there were numerous stateside and overseas TDYs and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. All the while I had confidence that “someone” had my best interests (and those of my fellow service members) in their hearts and minds.
That someone was (is) the Air Force Sergeants Association.
I think I first joined the AFSA back in 1985 with a free membership courtesy of my promotion to the rank of E4 Sergeant. Like many, my membership lapsed; renewed/rejoined and lapsed again. In 2006 while assigned to the National Security Agency at Ft Meade, MD I attended my first AFSA Chapter meeting. The meeting was small, we met in a side room at the base chapel, probably about six members in attendance. Within six months attendance grew (funny how much influence a Chief can have)…and we were now meeting at the ALS with 20+ members in attendance.
Attended by first Division PAC (Div 1) in 2007 at Dover AFB, where I saw what a Division is all about. Off to Lajes Field in the Azores in 2008 and Chapter 1653. Finally PCS to Ellsworth AFB in 2010; and to my new home at Chapter 951 and Division 3.
Retirement in 2012 did not mean the end of being an Airmen; instead I found new ways to serve…Chapter Legislative Trustee, Special Events Coordinator, and Division Legislative Trustee. Meeting and working with the South Dakota Congressional Offices, the South Dakota Secretary for Veterans Affairs, the State Legislature, as well as the Mayors and Councilmembers of our two host cities. Forging relationships with the business community, two Chambers of Commerce, and of course the base leadership (funny how much influence a retired Chief can have)…
And now elected to serve this Association and all the great people in Division 3 as your President.
The Air Force of 2019 is not the same as the Air Force of 1989, 1999, or even 2009…and that is alright. And our AFSA is evolving as well…an Inclusive National Military Association/Veteran Service Organization; with full membership to all services, all ranks, and their family members. No other such association exists.
Since 1961 AFSA has been at the forefront and we’re not slowing down!
Kevin M. Ott, CMSgt (retired)
President, AFSA Division 3