OSI salutes retiring HQ DS

  • Published
  • By Dr. Deborah Kidwell
  • OSI Command Historian

Special Agent David Priest retires today after more than 41 years with the Office of Special Investigations.

Mr. Priest entered the Air Force in 1976 with assignments to Loring Air Force Base in his native Maine and Osan Air Base in Korea as a Security Policeman. He attended the Special Investigations Academy in 1980. His early active duty assignments took him to conus locations such as Maxwell, Ala., Laughlin, Texas, Bolling in D.C., and Andrews, Md. He also completed global assignments in Japan, Korea and Germany.

Mr. Priest retired from the active duty force in 1999 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and after having served 23 years. His Civilian Special Agent career continued until March of 2020, when he retired as the Director of Staff at OSI Headquarters.

During his tenure as a special agent, Mr. Priest worked all primary mission areas of the command including general criminal investigations, central systems fraud, narcotics, counterintelligence collections and counterespionage operations. He specialized in working human behavior programs to serve law enforcement and counterintelligence collections and operations.

Priest served assignments as a Civilian Special Agent at OSI headquarters and the OSI Special Investigations Academy from 1999 until 2008.  From 2008-2013 he was the Special Agent in Charge of Detachment 102 at Hanscom Air Force Base, Ma.  During his tenure as SAC, the unit was awarded the AFOSI Large Detachment of the Year supporting Air Force Material Command for 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  In 2013, Priest moved into senior leadership at OSI headquarters located at Quantico Marine Base.  He served as Deputy Associate Director for Counterintelligence, Deputy Inspector General, and finally, as Director of Staff for the entire organization.

It is fitting that such a long-term agent ended his career as the single focal point and oversight for all items of interest for the OSI Commander, including Public Affairs, liaison, history, protocol and the Commander’s Action Group, the office responsible for working the commander’s and other top leadership’s short and long term initiatives. 

Priest’s career included a number of personal and professional accomplishments and significant recognitions.

In 1996, he earned a Master’s degree in Human Relations from Oklahoma University, after having completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice at Troy State University in Montgomery, Ala. in 1985.

Priest’s service awards included the Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star. Priest completed two very successful deployments during the Global War on Terrorism. He served as the Director of Operations of the Joint Counterintelligence Unit in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2011, and as the Special Agent in Charge of Detachment 2411 at Balad Air Base, Iraq in 2015.

While serving as a civilian, Priest earned many top awards, including an Army Superior Civilian Service Award, a Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, four awards of the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal for Civilians and the NATO Medal for ISAF Operations. 

The OSI family congratulates Special Agent David Priest and his family for a retirement well earned!