Hall of Fame program enshrines legacy

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • AFOSI Public Affairs

Since 1998, as part of its 50th Anniversary Year celebration, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations has revered a select few in its ranks to be forever enshrined in the AFOSI Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was created to recognize those who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership traits in the performance of their duties, setting them apart from others who have served in the agency.  

“AFOSI personnel inducted into the Hall of Fame have had a lasting impact on the organization beyond the fulfillment of their duties,” said Dr. Deborah Kidwell, AFOSI Command Historian. “They have been recognized by their peers as those who developed concepts into advanced law enforcement techniques and policies that have remained long after the agents themselves retired.”

A nominee must have made significant and long-term contributions to the AFOSI mission or performed an unusually heroic action. The nominee should have inspired others by personal example, by character and by conduct as a leader or team player.

To date, 45 former members of the command have been inducted, with the largest induction class size of six in 1999.

Former military and full-time AFOSI civilians, including special agents, non-agents and reservists assigned to any AFOSI field unit from Jan. 1, 1948 to the present, are initially eligible for nomination. After Aug. 1, 1998 an HoF candidate must have been retired or separated from AFOSI service at least five years before being eligible for nomination.

Only nominations for individuals are accepted. Current and former AFOSI members may nominate based on genuine knowledge or documented research. All nominations must be  forwarded to the headquarters AFOSI History Office by Dec. 31 each year. 

The significance of the Hall is not lost on the inductees.

“The AFOSI Hall of Fame is an important piece of our command’s history,” said retired Col. and 1999 Hall of Fame inductee Richard Law. “It symbolizes the high water marks achieved by command members whose performance merits special recognition.”

The most recent inductees, from 2018, retired Special Agents Steve Minger and Marty Pitt, fit the bill and then some.

SA Minger spent 42 years as an AFOSI Agent. He first served as a military agent for 15 years, eventually retiring as a master sergeant and then returning to the command as a civilian agent for 27 years. SA Minger excelled at recruiting productive confidential informants, and the criminal intelligence his sourcing developed was the driving force behind many of AFOSI’s successful counter-drug operations in Europe during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. SA Minger concluded his career in 2013 as the Director of Criminal Investigations at Region 2, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

His reaction to being inducted into the HoF?

“In a word, WOW,” he said. “I think many OSI people thought about whether their career story was worthy of such an honor. Then the announcement comes and you realize it’s not just about what you did but it also recognizes all the deserving family, coworkers and bosses who enabled and supported your efforts. No one earns induction by themselves. It’s a particular pleasure to be inducted with Marty Pitt, a personal friend and coworker since 1977.”

SA Pitt served the Air Force for 46 years, including 30 on active duty, retiring as a chief master sergeant. He returned and spent another 16 years leading the command as a civilian agent. During his career, SA Pitt was widely touted as an outstanding coach and mentor for personnel of all ranks and specialties. He finished his career in 2008 as the Director of Organizational Development at HQ AFOSI.

His first reaction to the induction announcement?

“Surprise! I just didn’t think it would ever happen,” he said. “The Hall is important because it represents our history. For each member selected there are many who helped them get there, hence it should recall memories for all who knew them and importantly, remind all, of AFOSI’s long legacy of excellence.”

For AFOSI Commander, Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard, the importance of the Hall of Fame to his command rekindles the iconic line spoken by Winston Churchill in his famous1940 speech referring to the Royal Air Force and their fight to maintain the skies above Britain against Germany: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

“I can think of no other line that better captures how we feel about our AFOSI Hall of Fame members,” General Bullard said. “These few men and women, through their vision, tireless efforts, and leadership impacted countless lives and shaped the future of our very command. We must always hold them up and celebrate them as our ‘Few’.”