Senior NCO receives PACAF Security Forces award

Master Sgt. Bruce Rick is the Pacific Air Forces Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year.

Members from the 35th Security Forces Squadron, Cerberus Flight, pause for a photo during an after duty barbecue over the summer, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Pacific Air Forces command selected Master Sgt. Bruce Rick as the Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year while serving as a flight sergeant from October 2016 through September 2017. Rick attributes this award to the hard work and sacrifice of Cerberus Flight Airmen and NCOs. (Courtesy Photo)

Master Sgt. Bruce Rick is the Pacific Air Forces Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year.

Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, the NCO in charge of integrated defense with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, pauses for a photo with SFS Airmen, Nov. 18, 2017, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Pacific Air Forces selected Rick as the Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year. Rick attributes this award to the hard work and sacrifice of Cerberus Flight Airmen and NCOs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Pacific Air Forces names Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year.

Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, the Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year for Pacific Air Forces, pauses for a photo, Nov. 18, 2017, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. PACAF recognized Rick for his performance as a flight sergeant from October 2016 through September 2017. Over the year, his mentorship of 118 Airmen led to 22 subordinates receiving awards for excellence through various Air Force award programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Pacific Air Forces awarded top honors to one of Misawa’s Wild Weasel Defenders, Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, NCO in charge of integrated defense with the 35th Security Forces Squadron. PACAF selected him as the Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year for his performance as a flight sergeant from October 2016 through September 2017 at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

“It is an honor,” said Rick, a Cleghorn, Iowa native. “Since day one, my focus has been helping and training Airmen and NCOs to do their jobs. Sometimes it consumes you, and you forget about yourself. Since my attention was on their development, I was a bit taken aback when I was told I was selected for the award. It's a humbling experience”

The annual award is security forces specific, and the bases within PACAF first submit their nominees to the command, which then determines its top choice. Finally, the judges at the Air Force-level assess the packages sent in from commands around the world. PACAF selected Rick over senior NCOs from nine other bases in the command. He will now compete for the Air Force-level award, which will be announced February 2018.

As a flight sergeant, Rick managed and supervised the shift operations for 118 U.S. Air Force active duty members and Japanese national security forces members. Under his guidance, his Airmen safeguarded approximately 11,500 status of forces agreement members and a total of $3.5 billion in Department of Defense assets.

Within the past year, he also saved the life of a local national from a violent armed assault. His heroic actions earned him an Air Force Commendation Medal.

In preparation for the 2017 Defenders Challenge, Rick coached a six-member team on 23 different combative skills and five weapon systems, leading the team to win three individual awards, ultimately resulting in being named the champions of the overall challenge.

“Master Sgt. Rick is an inspiration to all of us on Cerberus Flight,” said Senior Airman Amy Dyar, a 35th SFS base defense operations center controller. “His positive attitude and sound leadership helps us persevere through the day-to-day challenges associated with being a defender, from something as simple as bearing the cold weather to walking into a situation that is less than favorable.”

His mentorship led to 22 of his 118 subordinates receiving awards for excellence through various Air Force award programs.

“Rick is a phenomenal leader. His insight and judgment have made him invaluable to the United States Air Force and the 35th Security Forces Squadron,” said Maj. Patrick Gordon, 35th SFS commander. “He embodies the Air Force core values, develops champions and is certainly deserving of this recognition."

Rick is a firm believer that, next to providing guidance for troops, it’s vital to get out from behind the desk and get your hands dirty with them in the field.

“The Airmen are the backbone of the U.S. Air Force and what make us the greatest in the world,” Rick said. “They don’t work for me, I work for them.”