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NEWS | June 29, 2020

Airman earns Bronze Star through resilience and excellence

By Senior Airman Cody R Miller Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. David Hoy, 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Control Center NCO in charge, received a Bronze Star Medal June 18, 2020, for his meritorious achievement while deployed as an air advisor for the Afghan Air Force all across Afghanistan.

“When I first found I was getting the award I was blown away and speechless, it was really cool to see my commanders nominate me,” he said. “I know those awards aren’t just given out and it was nice to be recognized after being in so many dangerous or high-risk areas. I really didn’t think what I was doing was worth getting that type of award and later found out I was one of only two technical sergeants to receive it that year. It was amazing to say the least. During his deployment, Hoy traveled to various Afghan bases where he advised on processes involving jet fuels transport and storage.”

“I was advising the Afghan Air Force directly,” Hoy said. “Day-in and day-out, I was working with them to perfect their fuels operations so they could become self-sufficient. I oversaw 28 locations within seven provinces of the country.”

Hoy said the deployment brought a set of challenges due to both his unique mission, as well as his specialized role as an advisor to a foreign nation.

“The deployment was both stressful and fun at the same time,” he recalled. “It was great helping our partners but it was stressful at the same time, since I had to make them understand why their fuel quality needed to be increased sometimes for their mission to proceed. Resiliency was definitely something I had to keep in mind during this deployment. I found a lot of off-duty time to go to the gym and get a lot of my stressors out that way. The deployed mental health technicians also did a great job of talking with us to make sure we were ok with everything that was going on. I also got really into reading a lot of Stephen King books to keep my mind off work when I was off-duty just to take a mental break.”

Before his deployment, Hoy was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. While he was in training en route to his deployed location, the base was hit by Hurricane Michael, a powerful storm that destroyed most of the base’s structures and later became the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

“I had been stationed at Tyndall for about five years before I deployed and the hurricane hit,” Hoy said. “Thankfully, most of my family was moved out of the area by the time the hurricane hit and we had no idea if any of our things in storage had made it. When I got back and found my building, nothing was touched and it all worked out.

“That whole scenario was definitely stressful, but I was able to stay positive through most of it,” he added. “Air Force Personnel Center did give me the option of shortening my deployment but I elected to stay and see things through. I was then stationed here at Joint Base Charleston when I got back and I really enjoy my new office. There’s a good group of people here that made transitioning to a new base during a tough time an easy ordeal. ”

Hoy had some advice for any fuels Airman, or Airmen in general, that get tasked with potentially unique deployments.

“Definitely go out and try and take those deployments that put you out of your comfort zone,” he said. “I, for example, was just [in] a one-deep fuel slot and it was incredibly rewarding, even in the tough times. The awards the Air Force gives out aren’t always easy to get, but they’re definitely worth shooting for. If you ever have an Airman that you think should be recognized, definitely go through with it. You never know if that recognition could give them that extra mental kick of reassurance to keep pressing on.”