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SMSgt Daniel Leonard selected as 2020 IMA of the Year

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Samuel Swanson
  • 618 AOC

Last month, SMSgt Daniel Leonard, IMA Superintendent to the Air Refueling Directorate, received the exciting news that he had been selected as the 2020 IMA of the Year for his outstanding efforts in mobilizing air refueling support.

Leonard credited his outstanding team as the biggest contributor to his success saying, "This is a team award. Everyone who I've worked with has had a part in it."

Leonard's military journey first began in 1998 when he enlisted into the Air Force after losing his New Hampshire factory job at the age of 23. He was selected to be an In-Flight Refueling Apprentice, also known as a "Boom Operator," and sent to Fairchild Air Force Base, WA, for his first assignment. After a short time in Washington State, Leonard traveled to Europe where he served as an instructor at Royal Air Force Mildenhall. He returned to New Hampshire several years later and joined the Air National Guard. He arrived at the AOC as an IMA in 2011 and later took a leave of absence from his civilian employer to join the Air Refueling team full-time on Title 10, active duty orders.

"Getting to work with such a great group of people is amazing," Leonard said. "The team and the people are the best part about working here."

When asked about the most exciting aspect of working in the AOC, he smiled and spoke of the challenging, fast-paced nature of the job and the support he's able to provide air crews all around the world.

"Pushing missions, talking to crews, overcoming obstacles. That's the fun part!" he said, "I like helping crews on the road and setting them up for success."

Leonard's outstanding leadership and problem-solving mindset have made a huge impact on the AOC's ability to provide air refueling support to our warfighters. It is only through people like Leonard, that the AOC is able to provide unrivaled command and control to mobility forces, whenever and wherever we're needed.