Volunteerism brings Airman applause
Senior Master Sgt. David Scott holds a brick from the Mt. Gilead Primitive Baptist Church in Eclectic, which was destroyed by a tornado April 27. Scott’s students at the First Sergeant Academy presented him with the brick after he organized a volunteer clean-up campaign. This effort was one of several reasons he was awarded the 2012 National Public Service Award at the Air Education and Training Command level. (Air Force photo/Kelly Deichert)
by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs
8/12/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- For Senior Master Sgt. David Scott, helping the community is a personal and professional pursuit.
In recognition of his efforts, Scott, the director of operations at the First Sergeant Academy, was awarded the 2012 National Public Service Award at the Air Education and Training Command level. His nomination is under consideration at the Air Force level.
The American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration award the National Public Service Award to military and Department of Defense civilian employees who have spent a significant portion of their career in public service.
Scott has a history of helping the community. As a member of the Emerald Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, he trains for four hours each week and is on call for emergencies. He also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics.
But his contributions after tornados hit Alabama April 27 were the basis of his nomination. Scott was among hundreds of first responders helping that night.
"Our fire department was called to Eclectic and Santuck to do search-and-rescue missions for victims of the tornado," he said. "The devastation was unreal. We went from house to house to see who was left."
"His training and his motivation was key to saving property and people in his community," said retired Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Rainey, former academy commandant, who recommended Scott for the award. "He is a fine example of a military professional."
More than 50 students wanted to help, too. "They gave up their whole Saturday," he said.
Scott and the students cleared the lot where Mt. Gilead Primitive Baptist Church in Eclectic used to stand. "There was nothing left to the church," he said.
The team, who cleared bricks and chopped tree limbs for removal, were pleased with their efforts. "They loved it," Scott said. "They wished they would have been here longer to help more."
"Dave is a great example for all the students to bring back to their bases and organizations," Rainey said.
Scott's nomination also recognizes his bonds with Montgomery. For example, Mayor Todd Strange now visits Gunter Annex to welcome new students to the community. Scott also organizes steamboat cruises as a student icebreaker, complete with vans to and from the dock through the city's transportation office.
Scott serves as an example. He and his wife, Christina, and son, Logan, 13, volunteer, too. They also assisted with relief efforts in Eclectic. "(Logan) gets to see how other kids are less fortunate," Scott said. "I think it makes him more appreciative."
The Scotts and First Sergeant Academy students will continue to help the community through a clean-up campaign this weekend at a local elementary school.