FSS Airman slam dunks on home court for Malmstrom

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Magen M. Reeves
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
For an avid sports fan, there's nothing quite like scoring for the team. Whether it is a slam dunk, making a half-court shot or scoring from the three-point line, what matters is the contribution to the team and the playing of the game.

For Airman Derrick Norman, 341st Force Support Squadron, making the plays and taking the shot is what drives him to be the best Airman he can possibly be.

"Our mission here is to contribute to overall mission readiness by prompting physical fitness and to boost morale," said Norman. "I think FSS helps the base feel more like home. We provide that support and backbone."

When Norman came into the Air Force ten months ago he was looking to make a change in his life.

"I was playing basketball at a Division II college on a partial scholarship," said Norman. "Although I was guaranteed a full scholarship by my sophomore year, I didn't get it. So after my sophomore year I decided it was time for a change." 

Norman enlisted in the Air Force and successfully completed basic military training as an element leader.

Here at Malmstrom, Norman works at the Malmstrom Fitness and Sports Center where his love and knowledge of sports are helping him succeed in the FSS.

Duties Norman typically performs include daily headcounts, making reservations for squadron physical training, cleaning equipment and updating the special events binder for the fitness center.

"We also plan special events for the base and coordinate intramural sports," said Norman. "I'm currently the assistant special events coordinator."

Norman's peers constantly notice the positive vibe he brings to the team dynamics.

"Norman has an outgoing and positive personality," said Senior Airman Dyan Murray, 341st FSS special events coordinator. "He is excited about every event we put on, and always coming up with great ideas for different events. With him being the assistant special events coordinator I know I won't have any problems coming up with exciting things for the future."

Norman takes his position very seriously, as any Airman determined to make that fast break for a layup would.

"I've always been open to helping out in the community and on base," said Norman. "Even before I joined the Air Force, my wife and I would feed the homeless back home in Atlanta, Georgia."

Norman utilizes his skills to perfect his plays to win for the Air Force team.

"I love basketball, so I'm just trying to improve my knowledge of the game and be well-rounded," said Norman. "I want to become a coach in the future."

Norman is close to finishing his Community College of the Air Force degree as a fitness and hospitality major. Beginning next month he is also starting to officiate middle school-aged youth basketball games, all for the love of the game.

Norman is very highly regarded by his fellow FSS Airmen.

"Norman always keeps a good humor on things, is really family oriented, and when it's time to work, you won't see him taking any breaks," said Airman 1st Class Salvador Argumedo, 341st FSS.

What Norman brings to the team dynamic is unique.

"Norman is constantly singing throughout the day," said Murray. "Without fail we always know when he is around because he is always singing something and he doesn't sing quietly as to hide it, but loud enough for us to say, 'yep that's Norman.'"

Norman volunteers his time through many of the FSS activities on base. He has helped plan and execute several events alongside his fellow FSS Airmen.

Norman is currently organizing a 5K Wing Fun Run Aug. 21 at 7 a.m., an all-star basketball event and a dodgeball tournament, both held in September.

"I try to volunteer at events that interest me and bring my wife with me," said Norman. "My wife and I are expecting our first child in December. Words can't explain how excited, nervous and scared I am all in one. I can't wait."