Friday, January 12, 2007

TOP STORY > > Honored for 53 years of service

By Tech. Sgt. Arlo Taylor
314th Airlift Wing Strategic Information Flight

The 314th Airlift Wing Equal Opportunity Program Manager turns the next page of his 53 year career as he retires Jan. 5.
Wincie “Dan” Daniel has served 50 plus years in the Air Force and civil service. A former command pilot with more than 6,000 hours, Mr. Daniel entered the Air Force as an aviation cadet in July 1953. His military career included flying more than 380 sorties in a C-123 cargo airplane over Vietnam.

“Vietnam was fun flying even though people were often shooting at you on occasion, it was still was awful fun flying because you actually saw results of your work,” he said.

After retiring from service, he was a pilot at FedEx for 18 months before starting his civilian service career here. In the past 32 years, all of them at Little Rock Air Force Base, Mr. Daniel has served as an education specialist with the C-130 aircrew training program with the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing; then he moved in the Joint Interservice Regional Support Group, Quality Office and chief Equal Employment Opportunity counselor in 1994. Mr. Daniel hasn’t measured the success of his career by the length of time his service or the accolades he garnered.

“The greatest achievement was being given the freedom to do my job by my commanders,” Mr. Daniel said. “It goes back to bosses who gave me a job and let me do it and made me responsible for my job. I’m very fortunate in that respect, especially during my civil time.”

“Apparently I did what they wanted.”

The 53 year Air Force veteran does offers advice to those in the early stages of their careers.

“Find what you like to do and don’t be afraid to change,” he said. “The changing technology and the environment in which we live and operate dictate you be flexible. Two of the biggest changes I’ve seen are the change in technology and the change in how the Air Force treats its people.

“If you’re absolutely rigid, you’re going to get run over and left behind. You have to be flexible and have to change,” he said.
Though he has seen his fair share of history made in his 53 year career, Mr. Daniel said he regrets not being there as the next chapter of Air Force history is written.

“I envy the opportunity to be part of the changes that are coming. There are going to be so many more tremendous changes in the next than we have seen in the past and I’d love to be in the middle of it.

“But that’s somebody else’s job now.”


Post a Comment