Unsung hero: Tech. Sgt. Donald McCutcheon

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Airmen are meant to be interchangeable pieces of a larger machine, but at times certain individuals stand out as crucial components that keep things running efficiently.
One of those individuals is Tech. Sgt. Donald McCutcheon, 2nd Fighter Training Squadron aviation resource management technician.

"I was attracted by the Aviation Resource Management job because it entailed working with aviators on a regular basis. Not too many people get to work with pilots as their primary customers and see their work first hand," McCutcheon said.

The Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native graduated from Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, in 1998. Later he attended Okaloosa-Walton Community College before he joined the Air Force. Currently, he is attending Grantham University pursing a bachelor's degree in Information Systems Security. McCutcheon has a 4.0 grade point average.

Even while actively busy with his career and education, his family remains his center. He has been married to his wife for 11 years, and they have a six-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

"Spending time with family is my favorite activity no matter what we decide to do during the weekend," McCutcheon said. "I find it important to keep a healthy work and home life balance. What helps me do this is my spiritual faith in God and by praying and attending church every Sunday."

Although he maintains a happy home life, a successful professional life, and has educational accolades, McCutcheon later spoke to how he handles everyday stressors that may arise.

"Well everyone has stressors, but I don't let them become anxiety in my life," McCutcheon said. "I just leave it in God's hands as far as the stress and worries. He has given me the strength to overcome the difficult times in my life."

Having his outlook for how to handle stressful things in life has freed him up to receive various awards and recognitions.

"Since I have been here at Tyndall, I received NCO of quarter at the 43rd Fighter Squadron and 2nd FTS," McCutcheon said. "Additionally, I received a significant award at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., before I came to Tyndall. I was selected as a local hero at the Red, White and Blue Hero's Celebration and presented a key to the city of Destin, Florida, with a fly-over and fireworks show over Destin Harbor."

His leadership has taken note of his various accomplishments and speak very highly of him.

"He is very professional and nice, but a bit quiet which isn't a bad thing," said Lt. Col. Erik Gratteau, 2nd FTS Assistant Director of Operations.  "He is a hard worker that takes his job seriously. He's been easy to supervise and requires little oversight because he knows his job and executes it well. Prior to me supervising him he won the squadron NCO of the quarter twice.  This is a testament to his strong performance as the squadron aviation resource management NCO in charge."

Although he has been recognized by his career field and the community, his greatest compliment was found elsewhere.

"I would have to say the best compliment I received was from my wife -- that I was a great husband and father," McCutcheon said.