OSI makes historic leadership change

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

The Office of Special Investigations storied legacy turned the page when it welcomed its new Commander, making history in the process.

Col. Amy S. Bumgarner became the agency’s 20th Commander when she assumed command, as the first female to lead OSI, which observes its 75th Anniversary Aug. 1, 2023.

She admitted she had a range of emotions upon hearing the news, to include being both humbled and excited, while acknowledging that it was still a little surreal.

“I know what a historic moment this is for our command,” said Bumgarner. “I’m excited and honored to serve as the first female commander.”

She accepted the reins of responsibility and leadership for the Department of the Air Force’s federal law enforcement, criminal investigations and counterintelligence enforcement agency from its 19th commander, Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard, during the Change of Command ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, May 16, 2023.

The event was officiated by Lt. Gen. Stephen L. Davis, The Inspector General of the Department of the Air Force, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.

“Command at every level is a privilege, and with command, comes responsibility,” Davis said. “While there are a number of important things we do across the Department of the Air Force, there are few commands that have the importance and responsibility entrusted to the OSI commander.”    

Bumgarner admitted when she cross-trained into OSI she never imagined that someday she would be a trail blazer as its commander.

“This is a big deal on so many different levels and much larger than me,” she said. “I’m honored and humbled that the Air Force has selected me for this opportunity and I will work hard for all of our people – past, present, and future – to demonstrate that anything is possible. I will continue to focus on the basic concepts that got me to this point: hard work and taking care of people.”

During her time with OSI, Bumgarner has commanded the OSI Center, Region 8, the Special Investigations Academy, two detachments, deployed twice to Afghanistan, and in 2003 was the first-ever OSI Advisor to the 34th Training Wing where she was a key member of the Academy Response Team, working with victims of sexual assault at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Prior to assuming command of OSI, she has served as OSI Vice Commander since July 2021.

Bumgarner credits the members of OSI for this historic accomplishment.

"If you take care of your people they will take care of the mission. Every time. Without fail. This historic moment, me being up here as number 20, the first female commander for OSI in 75 years is because of you,” she told the ceremony attendees and those viewing the event online. “You made this happen. Whether we have worked together or not, you got me here. Together, anything is possible."

Excellence has always been her personal calling card.

A standout athlete at her hometown high school in Burleson, Texas, Bumgarner was inducted March 24, 2023, into the Burleson High School Hall of Fame for her prowess in tennis and on the men’s soccer team. Following her graduation in 1987, Burleson High School responded to a significant surge in females interested in playing soccer by creating a BHS Elks women’s team.

Bumgarner was also a Distinguished Graduate from Officer Training School in 1995, entering the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant in the communications-computer career field before cross-training into OSI.   

Bumgarner’s vision for the command centers around basic fundamentals and its people.

“OSI will remain a highly adaptive force…agile and flexile in order for us to accelerate change to meet the emerging needs of the Department of the Air Force,” she said. “But, our strength comes from being grounded in our basic fundamentals. We’re only able to adapt and pivot appropriately when we have a solid foundation.”

Bumgarner plans to spend time assessing where the command is before making any changes but remains committed to the standard that has been set by previous commanders.

“Brig. Gen. Bullard has been an amazing and visionary leader for the past four years and has taken OSI to a new level,” she said. “OSI will continue to set the standard in all mission areas while being responsive to Department of the Air Force requirements. I know if we continue to invest in and develop our amazing Airmen, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”