SA carries on family tradition of selfless service

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: As part of OSI’s Black History Month Observance, we highlight members who represent the Diversity and Inclusion of the Command.   

Using documents, photos and DNA to trace one’s genealogy is commonplace. But, to trace one’s heritage using major armed conflicts as the measuring stick is a different story.

The latter is how Office of Special Investigations Special Agent A. E. Pleasant, deployed to Detachment 518, Spangdahlem, Air Base, Germany, chronicles his family’s legacy of service.

“I come from a long line of warfighters in my family,” SA Pleasant said. “A member of my family has been involved in every major conflict in modern history.”

His lineage of family military service began with his great, great grandfather who served as a U.S. Army Buffalo Soldier with the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry during the Civil War.

He had a grandfather who served with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War I.

A great uncle also served with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II.

An uncle served with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.

His father and another uncle served with U.S. Army Special Forces during the Vietnam War.

Mr. Pleasant’s own eclectic service record presented a significant challenge for him when he entered OSI.

“As a member of OSI, I came into the Air Force community with no knowledge of the culture,” he said. “As a prior service member of the Marine Corps and Army, I quickly learned the Air Force didn’t possess the same level of intensity I experienced in my combat arms units. At times it was difficult to dial back my intense persona so I wouldn’t disrupt the dynamics within the detachment.”

Mr. Pleasant began his law enforcement career in 1988 and has served in various Federal, military, state and local agencies. He’s credited with a wide-range of investigative accomplishments as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, including more than $51 million in monetary achievement, 135 closed cases, 75 arrests and 45 indictments.

What convinced him to join OSI?

“I was recruited into OSI while working in Washington D.C.,” he recalled. “I provided financial analysis/investigative support to a contract fraud investigation at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. It was my first exposure to OSI. I reviewed their goals and objectives and believed they provided an opportunity to enhance my knowledge, skills and abilities in counterintelligence, with the chance to return to the Department of Defense as a criminal investigator. Plus, I believed my background and strategic thinking would serve as an asset to the OSI mission.”

Following graduation from the Basic Special Investigator Course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, Glynco, Ga., in 2013, SA Pleasant experienced rewarding professional aspects of being an OSI member.

“The organization understands my strengths to place me in career enhancing assignments,” he said. “Over the years I’ve worked in multiple overseas locations, engaged in combat operations, briefed commanding generals, provided protection to the Secretary of the Air Force and provided guidance/mentorship to the next generation of OSI agents. Your accomplishments are not overlooked by OSI and are often rewarded by OSI leadership and stakeholders.”

SA Pleasant has some real-world advice for those wanting to join the special agent ranks of OSI.

“Be selfless, possess self-discipline and be open minded,” he explained. “The career field is not for everyone. Candidates must understand they’ll be exposed to people operating at their worst, whether a violent crime, sex crime, narcotics activity or protecting Department of Defense personnel in hazardous, austere environments. The job presents a new challenge every day. If candidates intend to provide selfless service to others, then OSI is the organization to join.”