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Master Sgt. David Hall, 55th Security Forces Squadron Information Fusion Cell/Investigations NCO in charge, listens as 1st Lt. David Nugent, U.S. Strategic Command Elite Guard officer in charge, recites the oath of enlistment at the Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. parade grounds Oct. 6. Hall supervised Nugent while he was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (U.S Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)
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NCO reenlisted by former cadet he mentored at Air Force Academy

Posted 10/21/2011   Updated 10/21/2011 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. Jason Haag
55th Wing Public Affairs

10/21/2011 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The U.S. armed forces oath of enlistment is repeated by every enlisted member of the Air Force when they commit themselves to serving their country. It's a binding agreement between the member and the United States, administered by a commissioned officer.

The reason an enlisted member chooses a particular officer to administer their oath varies from person-to-person. Sometimes it's the person's commander or pilot of an aircraft they crew. It's also often somebody who has helped develop or guide the person's career.

When Master Sgt. David Hall, 55th Security Forces Squadron Information Fusion Cell/Investigations NCO in charge, selected an officer for his latest reenlistment, he reversed things and chose one he helped develop.

First Lt. David Nugent, U.S. Strategic Command Elite Guard officer in charge, is a 2009 Air Force Academy graduate - from the squadron Hall served in as an academy military training NCO.

Academy military trainers, or AMTs, are assigned to cadet squadrons to help the squadron air officer commanding mentor cadets as they progress through their cadet careers and become commissioned officers. The AMT constantly provides feedback to cadets on how they perform their roles, as well as coaching them on getting the best results in different situations.

"I felt it was a unique opportunity to have a cadet I instructed for three years reenlist me in our Air Force. It was an honor to have Lt. Nugent administer the oath to me," Hall said.

Nugent feels being asked to administer the enlistment oath to any enlisted member is a high honor, and especially humbling coming from somebody who taught him so much about the Air Force.

"I was honored he chose me. As an officer, I can think of no greater honor than being asked to perform a reenlistment," Nugent said.

While at the academy, Nugent recalls Hall setting high expectations and stressing the need for them to take care of people after getting commissioned.

"He pushed us hard and I am thankful for it. He had high standards for us and I think that has really helped me following graduation," Nugent said. "He said the most important thing you can do is take care of your people. Whether it's airmen, NCOs or officers, if they are taken care of, I know I will get 110 percent from them."

The two parted ways after graduation in May, 2009. Nugent reported to Offutt to begin his career as a security forces officer, while Hall remained at the academy to complete his AMT tour. Later that year, both realized they would be reunited in the same squadron.

"I had been here a few months and got a call saying Master Sgt. Hall was coming to Offutt. I was shocked. I don't think there are many lieutenants stationed with their AMT at their first duty assignment," Nugent said. "I definitely didn't think we would end up in the same squadron at my first assignment."

Hall, who recently surpassed 20 years in service, said he was excited about the opportunity to come to Offutt, and actually heard about his assignment from Nugent before he received official notification.

"Lt. Nugent notified me of the assignment before I even knew about it. I was excited to hear I was coming to Offutt for multiple reasons," Hall said. "First, it was the only time in my career I've gotten an assignment on my dream sheet. Second, I was going to get to see firsthand the results of my work molding our future officers."

Since Hall arrived at Offutt in December 2009, the two have established a professional relationship, working together in keeping the base and USSTRATCOM assets safe.

"Master Sgt. Hall is in charge of our investigations and Intelligence section, so we work together a lot attending force protection working groups, analyzing threat intelligence and working on our anti-terrorism program," Nugent said.

As both Airmen continue with their careers, they will inevitably go their separate ways again, but will always be linked in several ways, including the security forces badge Nugent wears on his service uniform.

"When I graduated, Master Sgt. Hall gave me one of his security forces badges," Nugent said. "I wear that badge on my blues every Monday."

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