Face of Defense: Air Force Recognizes Commander, Spouse
By Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard A. Williams Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2011 Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz presented Brig. Gen. Mark C. Dillon and his wife, Sara, the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award during a ceremony here Oct. 11.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz presents Brig. Gen. Mark C. Dillon and his spouse, Sara, with the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award legacy picture during a Pentagon ceremony Oct. 11, 2011. The award is presented annually to the wing commander and spouse whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple in wing command positions. U.S. Air Force photo by Andy Morataya
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Dillons were honored for their service at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where the general served as the 86th Airlift Wing’s commander from July 2009 to August 2011.
"Today we celebrate the exemplary service of both Mark and Sara while at the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein and, very importantly, their outreach to the local community," Schwartz said at the Pentagon ceremony.
The O'Malley award, now in its 26th year, is presented each year to recognize a wing commander and spouse whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple in wing command positions.
In supporting the Kaiserslautern community located near Ramstein, assisting with service members' transitions to the U.S. Central Command and strengthening youth and family programs at Ramstein Air Base, the Dillons exemplify the teamwork and commitment of all airmen, Schwartz said.
"Not only did the Dillons lead airmen and their families; they also improved the wing and bolstered the important place the organization holds in the central European community," Schwartz said. "I think it is appropriate that we honor Mark and Sara Dillon with this award for exemplary service by a commander and his or her spouse."
During the last year, the Dillons led a wing of more than 8,000 airmen and supported a joint and interagency team of nearly 50,000 Americans -- the largest concentration of Americans living outside the U.S.
"I think of three words when I stand up here today: honor, privilege and humility," Dillon said. "This is really a team honor for the men and women of the 86th Airlift Wing, and it was an honor to be able to serve with that team.
"Lastly and most importantly, we are humbled to hear our names, Mark and Sara Dillon, mentioned in the same sentence as General and Mrs. O'Malley," he said.