F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – Two defenders from the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron were awarded Air Force Commendation Awards at a ceremony Nov. 15, 2019, in the base theater on F. E. Warren Air Force Base.
Airmen 1st Class Cristopher Horton and Christian Reid, 790th MSFS Foxtrot Flight Night Alarm Response Team, were recognized for their efforts in rescuing a family in need during a house fire Nov. 7, in Dix, Nebraska.
The two Airmen noticed the house fire, then made contact with a neighbor who notified local authorities, according to Maj. Jaroslaw Zrodlowski, 790 MSFS commander. When on scene, they gathered information on the four family members and three pets still inside the house, then notified the family and evacuated them from the house.
After they evacuated the family, they stayed on scene to assist firefighters as they arrived.
“Only one firefighter showed up at first, and we helped him by controlling the hydrant and he handled the hose,” said Horton. “When more fire department personnel arrived, we stayed behind to comfort the family.”
When Horton and Reid recognized that the situation was under control, they left the home and returned to their duties at the missile alert facility, without asking for recognition or fanfare.
“At the end of the day, they just wanted to make sure this family was okay,” said Col. Damian Schlussel, 90th Security Forces Group commander. “That’s why they did it and they didn’t want the recognition for it.”
Although firefighting and grief counseling do not fall into the typical job description of a defender, at least one commander felt that the effort they gave was all in a day’s work for security forces personnel.
“All of our security forces Airmen are trained as first responders,” said Schlussel. “You never know when you’re going to have the opportunity to use the skills you’ve been taught, but without hesitation or calling for extra guidance, these two used those skills, put them to use and saved lives.”
It was clear to those they worked for that these airmen went above the call of duty to help a family in need.
“Two of our core values – service before self and excellence in all we do – they epitomize those core values for the Air Force,” said Schlussel.
Air Force Commendation Medal
This medal was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 28, 1958, for award to members of the armed forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service. The degree of merit must be distinctive, though it need not be unique. Acts of courage which do not involve the voluntary risk of life required for the Soldier’s Medal (or the Airman’s Medal now authorized for the Air Force) may be considered for the Air Force Commendation Medal.