49 graduate from Tinker Airman Leadership School

Chief Master Sgt. Alexander P. del Valle served as the guest speaker during the Airman Leadership School Class 17-E Graduation ceremony June 29 at the Tinker Club. Chief del Valle is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Chief Master Sgt. Alexander P. del Valle served as the guest speaker during the Airman Leadership School Class 17-E Graduation ceremony June 29 at the Tinker Club. Chief del Valle is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Forty-nine Airmen graduated from Tinker’s Airman Leadership School during a June 29 ceremony at the Tinker Club.

Graduates are:


138th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Senior Airman Noah Mckown

161st Intelligence Squadron

Senior Airman Monique Adams
Senior Airman Cody Sellers
Senior Airman Brianna Crackenberger

189th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Senior Airman Candace Culbertson

507th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Zachary Ambrose
Senior Airman T Becenti      

507th Medical Squadron

Senior Airman Julianna Divett

507th Operations Support Squadron

Senior Airman Rebecca Cowan

552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Cody Clark
Senior Airman Dakota Deno, Distinguished Graduate and Freedom Citation Essay Award Winner
Senior Airman Corey Gunder
Senior Airman Matthew Mauldin
Senior Airman Nathan White
Senior Airman Jacob Barton
Senior Airman Leonilo Masangcay
Senior Airman Travis Beard
Senior Airman Brendon Lakenen
Senior Airman Dylan Redding
Senior Airman James Maher
Senior Airman Kevin Presley

552nd Maintenance Group

Senior Airman Hassan Bakhshandeh
Senior Airman Sean Fidalgo

552nd Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Ibrahim Alabed
Senior Airman Jacob, John L. Levitow Award Winner
Senior Airman Nathaniel Jones
Senior Airman Matthew Dunlap
Senior Airman Landon Giles
Senior Airman Shaughn Sackett, Distinguished Graduate
Senior Airman Malek Hammond
Senior Airman Collyn Holliday
Senior Airman Nicholas Barron
Senior Airman Alec Goldsmith
Senior Airman Jacob Winter, John L. Levitow Award Winner

552nd Operations Support Squadron

Senior Airman Jacob Gregorchuk

72nd Aerial Port Squadron

Senior Airman Walter Ordonez
Senior Airman Caleb Jack

72nd Force Support Squadron

Senior Airman Boone Epperson

72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron

Senior Airman Tanner Arledge

72nd Security Forces Squadron

Senior Airman Shane Sergent
Senior Airman Adam Felts
Senior Airman Corbin Turner
Senior Airman Mason Marriott
Senior Airman Casey Doyal, Sharp Image Award Winner
Senior Airman Nadia Miller, Leadership Award Winner

963rd Airborne Air Ctrl Squadron

Senior Airman Evan Wilson, Distinguished Graduate

965th Airborne Air Ctrl Squadron

Senior Airman Zachary Buckner, Academic Achievement Award Winner and Distinguished Graduate
Senior Airman Christopher Flim

Air Force Flight Standard Agency

Senior Airman John Redden

 

ALS Freedom Citation: My last name

My name is Senior Airman Dakota James Deno and I am the dedicated crew chief on 78-0578. Through this writing I want to share my Air Force story, where my last name has been and where I plan to take it in the future. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to work on airplanes and join the Air Force. That being said, allow me to share my story with you.

Beginning back in the late 1980s, my parents began volunteering at the main aircraft display ramp at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual Airventure airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. When I was born in 1992, that next summer my mom was pushing me around in a stroller among the throngs of enthusiasts and I’ve been hooked into aviation ever since. As soon as I could drive, I was pulling an airplane with a tow truck around a ramp. My family heritage goes much, much farther than just a slab of concrete in northeast Wisconsin.

1968, South Vietnam, Donald Joseph Deno. It was my dad’s turn to take “Deno” overseas. My father landed for his first tour of duty in the Vietnam War. He was a diesel mechanic in the Army. Dad maintained BARCs which are Barge, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo vehicles. His second tour overseas saw him 20 miles south of the DMZ with an MP unit maintaining the jet water pumps on their patrol boats. Before my father, was his father: Orville Deno. My grandfather took our family name to Europe as an Army chef. I don’t know much about my grandfather since he passed away years before I was born. My dad always told me about how proud my grandpa was that he was able to serve Christmas dinner to troops on the frontlines during the war.

My grandpa on my mom’s side served for 43 years in the Wisconsin National Guard. Over those years Jan Skorczewski did everything from intelligence, to sharpshooting and was even an MTI. He retired from the National Guard as a Master Sergeant. His son, my uncle Mark Skorczewski, has probably been my biggest influence when it came to choosing the armed forces. He served 28 years in the Air Force and Air National Guard as an F-16 crew chief. I remember as a kid seeing the Thunderbirds for the first time while sitting on his shoulders at Truax Field. Growing up working with him in Oshkosh really motivated me to follow in his footsteps and to this day I still look forward to working as a crew chief with him for one week a year.

That leads to me, Dakota James Deno. I have my grandpa Jan’s middle name and in the fall of 2012, I traded in an Army uniform to put the name Deno on a set of ABUs. As I said in the beginning, I am the dedicated crew chief on 578. I first saw my aircraft not on the ramp outside of Bldg. 230, but almost 20 years ago at, you guessed it, Oshkosh. I went from a kid who was awestruck asking the pilot for his autograph, to now being the one who signs his name in the inspection block in my forms to assure the flight crew that my aircraft is good to go.

In 2014 I found myself being the one to take “Deno” overseas. It was my honor to deploy to southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. My dad has flown a POW/MIA flag in our front yard under the stars and stripes for as long as I can remember, and I asked him if I could take it with me for the trip. I launched the first AWACS to fly over Syria and my dad’s flag flew in the flight deck that first night. When I came home I presented him the flag and a certificate from the commander. That was the highlight of my deployment.

I tested for Staff Sergeant this time last year for the first time, and that leads us to the present. I’m spending six weeks learning how to become the best NCO the Air Force can turn me into. Once I graduate ALS I’m going to sew on Staff, which is a good thing because it’s one step closer to my goal of becoming a chief. I’m not sure what the Air Force has in store for me in the future but I have the greatest support system I could ask for with my family, Air Force family and my wonderful girlfriend. It’s a long road ahead and I know it’ll be incredibly rewarding but at the end of my Air Force story, whether I’m a Chief Master Sergeant or not, I want to be remembered as not one of the best crew chiefs to ever serve in the Air Force, but as one of the best men to ever serve in the United States Air Force. To wrap up my story the lyrics of a Dierks Bentley song put it best: I may never make it famous, but I’ll never bring it shame, it’s my last name.