103rd Security Forces civilian named top in Air Reserve Component
By Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker, 103rd Airlift Wing
/ Published January 25, 2021
EAST GRANBY, Conn. --
For the fourth time in three years, the 103rd Security Forces Squadron has received national-level recognition for its personnel and organization.
Mr. David Parker, 103rd Security Forces Squadron program coordinator, was recently named Air Reserve Component Civilian of the Year as part of the 2020 Air Force Outstanding Security Forces Individual Award Winners.
“We often describe him as one of our civilian Defenders,” said Lt. Col. William Deme, 103rd Security Forces Squadron commander. “It’s an interesting way to describe Mr. Parker because not only is he our civilian, but he was previously an active duty Defender.”
Parker channeled his experience as a Security Forces member at the 23rd Security Forces Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia to help streamline administrative processes at the 103rd.
“Dave was able to take his experience and create a process by which we were able to have quality and timely enlisted performance reports,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron Security Forces manager. “That lends itself to us being a better organization because we’re giving good, timely feedback to our Defenders.”
Part of improving these evaluations was helping members realize and take pride in the impact of their daily tasks, said Parker.
“People tend to not believe that what they do on a day-to-day basis constitutes an EPR bullet, and getting past that hurdle definitely makes a big difference,” said Parker. “I created writing guides and distributed them to supervisors and Airmen so they can improve their evaluations.”
Building these foundational skills will help improve the squadron overall, said Marks.
“Dave has empowered our Airmen to be proactive in taking care of their individual administrative tasks, and that will help us build stronger NCOs and SNCOs that are well-versed in everything it takes to be a whole Airman,” said Marks.
Parker also capitalized on his prior Security Forces experience to help sharpen other programs within the squadron since entering his role two years ago.
“We relied on his experience to help us in our pass and identification section and our installation access section,” said Deme. “Dave has pulled in different areas beyond his core taskings because his expertise, his knowledge, and his overall balanced demeanor allows him to leverage his experience in any of our functions and further the footprint of our organization.”
The learning process has been mutually beneficial, said Parker.
“I know that I’ve learned a lot from everyone here in the unit,” said Parker. “Everyone has questions for me about how we did things in active duty and I have the same questions about how we do them in the Guard, so everyone is learning from one another.”
His efforts were instrumental in the squadron receiving honors as 2019 Air National Guard Outstanding Security Forces Unit of the Year. Recent national-level Security Forces awards earned by the squadron also include 2019 Air Reserve Component Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and 2018 Air Reserve Component Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, awarded to Senior Master Sgt. James Reynolds and Tech. Sgt. Brian Davies, respectively.
“This wing owes Mr. Parker a debt, and this award is our effort to illustrate that he’s been a real part of growing our wing,” said Deme.
Parker emphasized that the success of the squadron has been a team effort.
“I’m happy that I got it, but I’m happier about where our unit is at, and that I was able to contribute to that,” said Parker. “The whole unit has been great—everyone works very well together, and none of this could have been possible if everyone wasn’t on the same page.”