JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA –
At a recent 437th Airlift Wing Commander’s call, Staff Sergeant Hannah Dye, non-commissioned officer in charge, Special Operations Intelligence Readiness, Operations Support Squadron, received surprising news from an unexpected messenger. The Air Mobility Command’s Chief Master Sergeant, Shelina Frey called to congratulate Dye on her acceptance to the Senior Enlisted Commissioning Program – Officer Training School (OTS). “It was embarrassing, in a good way,” Dye said. “I had no idea a decision had been made but I was thrilled,” she added.
In 2012, while pursuing her degree at Northeastern State University (NESU) in Oklahoma, Dye attended her brother, Paul’s, graduation from Air Force Basic Training School at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas. “Something from the ceremony stuck with me,” Dye commented. “It brought back memories of wanting to be an astronaut when I was a little girl.”
Dye graduated from NESU and applied for OTS but wasn’t accepted. “I still wanted to serve, so I enlisted,” she said. After completing Air Force basic training, she attended technical training school at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas for operations intelligence. Since graduating from tech school Dye has been stationed here in the 437th OSS. She explained, “I really enjoy what I do. I feel like I help keep our aircrew and other teammates safe.”
Several months ago, Dye participated in an international exercise, Swift Response 2016, which mainly took place in Europe. While there she had the opportunity to talk with the Col. Jimmy Canlas, commander, 437th Airlift Wing, about her career and her previous application to OTS. Canlas responded, “What are you waiting for? Apply again. I’ll support your efforts.”
After returning from the exercise, Dye quickly applied for the Senior Enlisted Commissioning Program – OTS. “The deadline was close. I submitted my package at the last minute,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect.” Dye added, “The competition is tough. It begins at the wing level, moves to the numbered Air Force level and, finally, elevates to the AMC level.”
Dye’s boss, Lt. Col. Timothy Foster, chief, Special Operations Division describes her this way, "To say Hannah has been a tremendous asset to our program is a dramatic understatement. Her attention to detail, phenomenal attitude, and strong work ethic were instrumental in providing the best intelligence support to our Special Ops crews. She will be greatly missed but I could not be any happier for her as she beings a new chapter in her Air Force career."
Dye isn’t sure where she will be assigned after completing OTS but says she will stay in Intel. “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the Air Force and I will stick with it as long as they let me.”
Dye shares the following parting advice for her teammates at JB Charleston, “I think this applies to any goal, job or dream – If you want it badly enough; don’t ever give up.”