SA earns prestigious volunteer medal

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

Three days before Thanksgiving, the Department of Defense expressed its appreciation to an Office of Special Investigations senior NCO for his selfless volunteer efforts.

On Nov. 23, 2020, Lt. Col. (SA) John Longmire, 4th Field Investigations Squadron Commander, presented Special Agent (Master Sgt.) Justin Acree with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. 

The MOVSM is a DoD award recognizing active duty, reserve and national guard members who perform substantial volunteer service to the local community above and beyond the duties required as a member of the United States Armed Forces.

The volunteer service must be made in a sustained and direct nature towards the civilian community, must be significant in nature to produce tangible results, and must reflect favorably on the military service and the United States Department of Defense.

The citation to accompany SA Acree’s award stated in part:

“…For outstanding volunteer service during the Novel Corona Virus-19 Global Pandemic. Sergeant Acree led an extraordinary sustained effort over 6 months that produced emergency equipment that directly safeguarded the health of essential medical personnel, host nation residents, and department of defense personnel located in Germany. Sergeant Acree organized and led a collection of 227 volunteers in Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany that produced 11,349 reusable masks and personally manufactured 1,556 face covers for communities across Kaiserslautern, Vogelweh, and Landstuhl, Germany. Furthermore, Sergeant Acree established a partnership with the American Red Cross to bolster his organizations distribution and supply capabilities. His outstanding volunteer service reflects great credit upon himself, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Investigations Collections Operations Nexus Center, 4th Field Investigations Squadron, and the United States Air Force.”

SA Acree says the impetus to volunteer originated with his spouse, Mindi.

“My wife came to me when she realized people were using t-shirts and bandanas since masks were not readily available and mission critical personnel still needed to work in close proximity to one another,” he said. “Then we decided to leverage social media and created a Facebook group, which is when things really took off.” 

A key behind-the-scenes aspect to this good news story was the foresight of SA Acree’s 4 FIS wingman, SA Ryan Watson, who informed 4 FIS leadership of the extraordinary efforts of SA Acree and his spouse. SA Watson’s proactive communication enabled the leadership team to recognize the community involvement, by surprise.

“This was a complete surprise and unexpected,” admitted SA Acree. “I told my wife this award belongs to her since she was the driving force who kept us going when I wanted to give up. Even today she still helps out and is working on morale Christmas masks for the clinic.”

The collective efforts of the 4 FIS Team showcased OSI’s Operation Developing Our 300 (DO300) commitments of: building a culture of trust; open communication; and creating a safe environment for OSI Airmen, military and civilian, and their families to work and live.   

“We appreciate the ICON Center support in making this happen,” Lt. Col. Longmire said. “We have some amazing people, doing some amazing things!”