Two Malmstrom enlisted members selected for OTS, prepare for success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
The chance to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force is a dream many strive for but very few attain. For enlisted members, this dream can be even more challenging to accomplish with the burdens of a full time career already in place, and for some a busy family life at home.

For two Airmen from Malmstrom AFB, even with these challenges they have succeeded in turning their goals into a reality. Through hard work and the unwavering support of friends, family and co-workers, they have been selected to attend Officer Training School.

For Tech. Sgt. Daniel Browitt, 490th Missile Squadron Oscar Missile Alert Facility non-commissioned officer in charge, the desire to serve the Air Force and his fellow Airmen in a bigger way was his motivation for attending the school and pursuing his commission.

"I am so fortunate to have a leadership team, operators and other facility managers who set the example and push me to succeed," said Browitt. "Our commander leads the team like a family. When I approached him and our director of operations about OTS, they were willing to help me in any way."

Browitt found out he had been selected after returning from a hard day's work in the missile field. According to him, it was just one of those days that nothing seemed to be going as planned.

He recalled receiving a knock on his door about ten minutes after he had gotten home. The man at the door was Lt. Col. Terrance Holmes, 490th Missile Squadron director of operations, and his commander.

Holmes told Browitt he had a flat tire on his truck. When Browitt walked out to fix the problem he was greeted by roughly 15 people who were hiding in wait to congratulate him.

"To say that I'm grateful for their help would be an understatement," said Browitt.

This year, the AF has selected 394 active-duty enlisted Airmen and civilians to attend OTS.

Of the 599 applicants 65.78 percent were chosen, which is much higher than the 50.33 percent selection rate that was announced in March for this year's OTS board, according to the Air Force Recruiting Service.

Tech. Sgt. Michael O'Neill, 341st Maintenance Operations Squadron missile maintenance operations center controller, was the second Airman from Malmstrom to be selected.

"It was pretty surreal when I found out I had been selected," said O'Neill. "I was half asleep on one my days off when a hoard of personnel came over to my house. I answered the door and they told me I had been selected."

O'Neill recalled being thankful that he was fully dressed when surprised by all his friends and co-workers, and especially his commander, as they came to congratulate him.

"I played it off when I told my wife," said O'Neill. "I just set the letter on the counter nonchalantly and let her read it. She was pretty excited."

O'Neill's decision to attend the course was to provide an avenue to better himself and the life of his family. One of his main goals is to become the best leader he can be for those he will eventually work with.

For both Airmen, the motivation to succeed for themselves, their families and team guides every action and decision they make.

"I plan to stay humble and learn as much as I can about being an effective leader," said Browitt. "I have a lot to learn but I'm up to the challenge."

"(For me), I just want to make an impact," said O'Neill. "I don't want to do this just for myself. I hope that I can be that positive influence wherever I go."