SLO wins excellence award

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Those he's been like a father to call him "Pop," his friends call him "Redd," and to those he ministers to most Sunday mornings at the 11:30 a.m. Gospel service he is Pastor, but he can now be called the inaugural winner of the Department of Defense Education Activity Military Unit Commander Excellence Award.

"I was very surprised to receive the award and I had no clue it was even coming," said Vernon A. Reddick, 39th Air Base Wing school liaison officer. "I thank God for my abilities and for giving me a job that allows me to be me."

This DoDEA Military Unity Commander Excellence award is intended to recognize military units or individual military service members who have provided exceptional dedication, support, and contributions to the DoDEA mission. Examples of nominees include units that have made significant contributions to the school through volunteer support; a school liaison officer who orchestrates outstanding support and interaction between the installation and the school; and an installation commander who provides extraordinary support and commitment to the DoDEA mission.

"Mister Reddick is the heat and indispensable to our community," said Col. Murrell "Tip" Stinnette, 39th Air Base Wing commander. "He has immersed and vested himself totally throughout our community and we are better for his contributions. As our SLO he has fortified the relationship between the wing and school and we have realized significant improvements to the quality of our educational environment while ensuring the security of our students at USAFE's only Force Protection Condition Charlie installation."

Some of Mr. Reddick's duties and accomplishments include: 

-- Being the liaison between the Incirlik DoDDS schools and the military community. 

-- Meeting weekly with the Incirlik American School administrators to ensure there is constant, updated communication between the schools and the Incirlik community. 

-- Attending weekly Anti-Terrorism Force Protection meetings, ensuring that the schools have the latest ATFP directives and information, and providing security/safety training and drills. 

-- Acting as the schools' transportation officer, Incirlik is probably the only DoDDS-Europe location that does not have a separate school transportation officer position, Mr. Reddick handles the contracts for all daily commuting buses, as well as all co-curricular buses, in addition to his SLO duties. 

-- Acting as a mentor and refuge for troubled students whenever there is a need. Does not give up on students no matter how difficult they act at school or in the community. 

-- Serving the two faculties in many professional and personal ways. He is always available to defuse emergency and crisis situations. Both staffs know that they can call him at any hour, day or night, and he will help them. 

-- Serving as a volunteer pastor at the Incirlik chapel as well as simply being a "pillar of strength" in the community. 

"Mister Reddick is a very dedicated man and takes his job very seriously," said Sandy DiQuinzio, Incirlik American School principal. "He cares about 'kids' and he will go to the highest extremes to make our school campus a safe place. I know that he has offered his home as a safe-haven for abused children to seek shelter. He also seeks out troubled students on campus and offers them opportunities to serve as safety guards to build their confidence and make them feel wanted. I can't say enough about his loyalty to our Incirlik community and especially to our school."

Mr. Reddick has been the Incirlik American School liaison for over nine years and continues his excellent work on a daily basis.

"When I retired from the Air Force after 27 years of active duty my dream job was one where I could wear a shirt and nice tie every day if I choose to," said Mr. Reddick. "Being School Liaison Officer is that job for me and more than anything else I have stayed in this position because of the young people I get to interact with every day of the week."