MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Maj. Jay B. Doerfler, Air Command and Staff College student, earned the 2018 Lt. Col. Anthony C. Shine Fighter Pilot Award for his service as squadron assistant director of operations at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018.
The award was presented Nov. 18, 2019, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and annually recognizes an Air Force fighter pilot with proven excellence and professionalism in flight, as well as dedication to community service.
"I grew up on a small farm in Texas with a passion for flying when I was really young, but I never thought it was one of those dreams that would come true," said Doerfler. "There's a lot more to being in the military, so don't forget that, while you're here, reading book after book, writing paper after paper, we go out and put our lives on the line and some of us don't return”
Colleen Shine, daughter of the award’s namesake, addressed ACSC students in Wood auditorium, recounting her trials and tribulations while searching for her missing father's remains.
"The POW flag will continue to fly as a reminder that freedom is not free, but is a promise to America’s renewed commitment to stand behind those who served,” said Shine, "Leafing through Maj. Doerfler’s nomination package, I was struck by his character and commitment to excellence. Fast and excited to make things better and sharing my father's commitment towards community service."
Doerfler provided 125 hours of counseling for a local youth group made up of more than 50 teams, volunteered his time towards local charities and homeless shelters, thousands of meals were packed for and served for malnourished children of homelessness throughout the year, all while executing 5,700 sorties and more than 9,300 flying hours.
In 1972, then-Capt. Anthony Shine disappeared above the border of North Vietnam and Laos. Colleen was just eight years old when she received the news that her father was missing. It would be more than two decades until she and her family received closure when receiving his remains. The prestigious award continues to honor her father’s legacy while bringing awareness to his fate while raising awareness for those who are prisoners of war or missing in action, by focusing attention on the plight of America’s prisoners and missing, not only in Vietnam but also from World War II and the Korean War.
"[Maj. Doerfler] is a sterling example of the caliber of excellence my father stood for: courage, integrity, excellence, and service,” said Shine. “May you continue to demonstrate these qualities in all that you do.”