Sitterly visits Team Dover, annual awards nominees

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Daniel Sitterly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, traveled from his office in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., to meet Team Dover’s annual award nominees here on February 3rd.

Sitterly, this year’s 436th Airlift Wing annual awards banquet guest speaker, has served in the Air for more than 41 years as an enlisted, officer, active duty, reserve and civilian Airman.

“It’s a real honor to have Mr. Sitterly here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Sarah Sparks, 436th Airlift Wing command chief. “He’s a very great man. I had the opportunity to work for him for about 18 months. I’m still absorbing all the stuff that I learned. What I admire most about him is that he doesn’t forget where he came from. He knows what it was like to be Airman Sitterly, a finance troop, and how to help you understand how the decisions they make [at the Pentagon] impact you. When he travels to bases, he does not want mission briefings. He does not want PowerPoint presentations. He wants to sit down with you. I truly appreciate that we have leadership at the Pentagon who takes the time to hear what you have to say, and I promise you, he will take it back.”

Sitterly visited with the annual award nominees, spending more than an hour getting to know them and listening to their ideas for improving the Air Force. Some of those ideas included changes to leave, civilian concerns, retention and continued process improvement. In addition, he ate lunch with them and toured several location on the installation, including the air traffic control tower, 436th Medical Group and the 436th Aerial Port Squadron.

To sum up his conversation with the nominees, Sitterly asked them one overarching question, “What are you doing to live an Air Force Life?”

“As I went around Team Dover today, I asked our folks that question,” Sitterly explained later that night at the banquet. “We talked about it. Does that mean doing your job well? Does that mean reaching out to a fellow Airman, encouraging development, reading a book from the Chief’s Reading List, understanding your unit’s mission a little bit better and where you fit in, supporting your family, volunteering, taking responsibility, mentoring, giving your subordinates feedback? To me, living an Air Force life adds up to all of those things and more. It’s a part of becoming something and belonging to something bigger than you – the United States Air Force … Take charge. Live an Air Force life, and I guarantee you will change some Airman’s life for the better.”

Closing his message, Sitterly left the audience with one final thought.

“I want to thank you all for your service to your country,” Sitterly said. “Whether you’re wearing a civilian uniform or a military uniform, the sacrifices you make every day are incredible. Whether you decide to stay for 40 plus years like me, or you decide to leave after your commitment, you are one of one percent of people in America that serve this great nation, the longest surviving democracy in the history of the world. That’s not by chance, it’s all because you’re looking over your shoulders and you’re taking care of your brothers and sisters.”