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AFSA Honors Arizona Airman for Heroism

Air Force veteran Chief Master Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. holds the license and credentials to practice as an independent claims adjuster in 28 states. Before his current work as an outside property and desk adjuster, Sergeant Bowser spent 26 years providing administrative support to the United States Air Force executives. Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. maintains his connection with the military through his membership with the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA).

AFSA is a veteran’s service organization of active and retired service members that lobby and represent its membership with the congressional and military leaders on Capitol Hill. AFSA supports the development of its members and gives awards to deserving airmen. One of these awards is the William H. Pitsenbarger Heroism Award.

The Pitsenbarger Award is given annually to Air Force enlisted personnel who demonstrated heroic acts that saved lives or prevented injury. It was named in honor of Airman First Class William H. Pitsenbarger, who evacuated casualties during a firefight between the US Army’s First Infantry Division and some Vietnamese enemies on April 11, 1966.

In May 2021, AFSA honored an airman from Glendale, Arizona, to save 28 lives during an active shooting incident. On May 20, 2020, Technical Sergeant Michael Walker of the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base was eating in a restaurant at the Westgate Entertainment District when the shooting occurred. The assailant, Armando Hernandez Jr., said he wanted to harm at least ten people to gain people’s respect because he felt he had been bullied all his life. Sergeant Walker guided the restaurant’s clients and staff to a safe hiding place and locked the survivors inside as the shooter moved away from the restaurant.


The Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster

A decorated military veteran, Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. performed a range of administrative duties as a chief master sergeant, the highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force. Among his other honors and awards, Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. has a Meritorious Service Medal with a silver oak leaf cluster.

In the late 1960s, military officials conceived of the Meritorious Service Medal as a noncombat equivalent to the Bronze Star Medal, which acknowledges the outstanding actions and achievements of U.S. military members on the battlefield. President Lyndon Johnson officially recognized the Meritorious Service Medal in 1969, and President Reagan expanded its purview in 1981 to include military members of friendly foreign countries.

In terms of prestige, the Meritorious Service Medal ranks just above the Air Medal and below the Purple Heart. The military denotes additional awards of the Meritorious Service Medal by augmenting it with one through five bronze oak leaf clusters. Service members who accumulate six awards receive a silver oak leaf cluster.

An Overview of AFSA’s eMentor Leadership Program

Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. is an accomplished administrative and human resources expert with over two decades of experience. A retired chief master sergeant with the United States Air Force, Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. provided administrative support to United States Air Force executives. He also maintains membership with the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA).

Air Force Sergeants Association is dedicated to improving the quality of life and economic wellness of all military personnel as well as their families. AFSA has partnered with the eMentor Leadership Program to enable Air Force personnel, their spouses, AFSA members, and Air Force veterans to connect with mentors to gain skills and experiences that positively impact an individual’s personal and professional life.

EMentor Program is a web-based award-winning initiative that offers support, growth opportunities, and trusted networking through mentorship. The program bridges the gap between job seekers and organizations as well as helps military professionals to successfully transition into civilian life.

The program recruits mentors from AFSA chapters from around the globe. EMentor has two programs which are Veteran eMentor Program and Military Spouse eMentor Leadership Program. Mentors who sign up choose to mentor a military spouse, mentor a military woman, or mentor an active duty Air Force professional or a veteran.

Under the program, mentors are required to work with their mentees for at least 60-90 minutes per month. Mentors offer support and guidance in key areas such as career transition, work/life balance, career advancement as well as a veteran or military family-related challenges.

Enlisted Aides Provide Crucial Support to General Officers

Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. served in the United States Air Force for more than 25 years and rose to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant, the highest rank available to enlisted personnel. He served in many assignments throughout his Air Force career and earned two associate’s degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from TUI University (now Trident University International) in California. In 2006, Senior Master Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. was named the Enlisted Aide of the Year for his exemplary service to his principals and for his leadership in the field.

Career airmen and noncommissioned officers in the Air Force may volunteer for enlisted aide positions, in which they are assigned to a specific general officer to perform official duties. These duties include administrative tasks such as preparing schedules and planning events, as well as serving as hosts at official functions. Other duties of enlisted aides may include uniform preparation, organization, scheduling, menu and meal preparation for official functions, and overall management of the general’s quarters.

Enlisted personnel may apply to become enlisted aides if they are past their initial enlistment, recommended by superiors, and releasable from their current career field. Once their applications are approved and they are selected they undergo a significant amount of training both with aides that have experience and within civilian institutions.