Honoring excellence: the Delta Lima initiative

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zeeshan Naeem
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

On Jan. 31, 2024, the 325th Security Forces Squadron inaugurated the Delta Lima initiative, a program where a carefully selected group of eight SFS defenders who exemplify the highest qualities of professionalism, dress and appearance, customs and courtesies and base defense capabilities, receive a brassard and special duties in six-month rotations.

The initiative honors the memory of Airman 1st Class Dayvon Larry, a 325th SFS defender who died in an off-duty incident in April 2023, by fostering the culture and pride in security forces duties that Larry exemplified. The program was named Delta Lima based off of Larry’s initials.

“Larry was a special individual who brought immense value to the team,” said Tech. Sgt. George Clark, 325th SFS resources advisor. “Our commander established Delta Lima to highlight Airmen who display the qualities that made Larry stand out amongst his peers. Enriching unit culture is one of Maj. Gen. Thomas Sherman’s primary focus areas as Director of Security Forces for the [U.S.] Air Force; this initiative aims to guide the 325th SFS toward that goal.”

The qualification process for Delta Lima candidates requires several prerequisites, to include a 90% or higher on their physical fitness test and a recommendation from their flight chief. After meeting all the qualifications, the Airmen report to a selection board chaired by Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Seekell, 325th SFS senior enlisted leader. The selected defenders are then honored in a brassard presentation ceremony.

“We hold ourselves to high standards and keep each other accountable,” said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Neal, 325th SFS patrolman. “Our first day was a big memory for me; I could feel the significance of receiving the brassard. I wear my brassard every day with pride and am always happy to showcase it because of how proud I am of myself and the group with me.”

The wearing of a brassard is a multi-generational military tradition, identifying a distinctive group assigned to special duties. The significance of bringing these brassards back for the Delta Lima program not only highlights the select group, but it also ties in Team Tyndall’s heritage. On September 1, 1950, the first Air Police school was established at Tyndall Air Force Base where APs were issued brassards upon graduation.

Delta Lima brassards are numbered, with the first brassard reserved in honor of Larry. These brassards remain linked to the members who don them and serve as a token of appreciation and a reminder of one of the Air Force core values: excellence in all we do.

“Throughout the past few months, I’ve aimed to set high standards in everything I can, even in small instances like greeting someone at the gate or making sure we keep our dress and appearance standards as high as possible,” said Senior Airman Joshua Barnes, 325th SFS patrolman. “I hope other units from the base can be inspired by what we’ve done so far.”

With the initial rotation nearing its conclusion, Seekell explained that he wants the Delta Lima defenders to understand that excellence is within each one of them while keeping a focus on precision and discipline in all aspects of themselves.

“Sometimes all we need to push through our self-imposed barriers is a little nudge,” said Seekell. “I hope this is the change they need to surge forward to new heights and inspire those who will come after.”

After the rotation, Delta Lima defenders will have the opportunity to be preselected for advanced skills training courses such as the Tactical Defender course, Counter Sniper Engagement course and the Nuclear Convoy course.

“This program has been very moving,” said Tameka Williams, Larry’s sister. “Dayvon would always go out of his way to help others or be a role-model. To know that people were inspired by his dedication and commitment and are replicating that energy means everything to me. Honoring fallen service members regardless of branch, job or rank is crucial. Delta Lima is a way to tribute them and keep the legacy going.”