Pathfinder Advances for 2023 GEICO Military Service Award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jessica Avallone
  • 501 CSW/PA

Senior Master Sergeant Shannon G. Hutto, 420th Air Base Squadron Security Forces operations superintendent, was recently confirmed the USAFE-AFRICA winner and selected as a Department of the Air Force’s nominee for the 2023 Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) Military Service Award.

The GEICO Military Service Awards honor one currently serving enlisted member from each of the six Armed Services and the National Guard for their achievements and contributions on-duty and off-duty for their military and civilian communities.

Hutto’s accolades could wrap around the Earth. His most recent accomplishments include building RAF Fairford’s first Security Forces presence in 13 years while justifying 129 positions for two new European Command strategic missions. He also led a 105-member U.S. and British defense force across two bases.

“He's definitely been putting in a lot of work to build up this base from nothing,” said Airman First Class Cameryn Wood, 420th Air Base Squadron Security Forces installation access controller, “it’s really cool to see someone step up into a Chief’s shoes and represent us.”

Hutto’s career includes nearly 19 years, six duty assignments, five deployments, multiple military working dogs, and leading hundreds of Airmen. Though locations and faces change, he maintains a sense of community.

“I moved overseas as a single father, he and his wife alleviated so many stressors for me,” said Master Sgt. Ross Stiegemeier, 420th Air Base Squadron Security Forces sustainment superintendent. “They made my son and I feel like we are part of their family.”

Hutto mentioned that being involved is what makes an experience at any location great. It allows Airmen to be part of a community and inspires them to appreciate the efforts of others.

“My defender family is a cultural experience,” said Hutto. “I like watching and helping them grow in the same manner I grew up in the USAF; ‘Iron sharpens iron.’”

Hutto embraces the Air Force but also understands the human factor of life.

“Leadership at my last base made me feel like a face on a whiteboard. They don’t always know who you are,” said Senior Airman Deacon Cook, 420th Air Base Squadron Security Forces base defense operations center controller. “Senior keeps tabs on his guys. He knows who we are, where we are. It's just nice, because he actually thinks of us, we’re not going unseen or unheard.”

Reflecting on previous efforts, Hutto expressed that “the package is most definitely a team effort. I think we collectively got this together.”

However those who work with him say Hutto’s leadership is invaluable.

“I think he deserves more,” said Cook." The things he's done, the time and effort that he's given to this base, I think he deserves a lot more.”

His commitment to excellence extends beyond the call of duty and dedicated service.
“He is already a Chief in my eyes,” said Stiegemeier. “I hope he wins at the DoD level because there are few that can compare to him as a man, leader and senior non-commissioned officer!”