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News > Aeronautics instructor earns Wakin award
Red Cross award serves as solemn reminder
Lt. Col. Ryan Osteroos was named the Brig. Gen. Malham M. Wakin Award winner by the Commandant of Cadets staff Feb. 23, 2012. Osteroos is the assistant professor for the Air Force Academy's Aeronautics Department. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Branum)
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Aeronautics instructor earns Wakin award

Posted 3/2/2012   Updated 3/2/2012 Email story   Print story


by Don Branum
Air Force Academy Public Affairs

3/2/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Academy's assistant professor of aeronautics was named the 2011 Brig. Gen. Malham M. Wakin Character and Leadership Award winner during the National Character and Leadership Symposium here Feb. 23.

Lt. Col. Ryan Osteroos received the award in part due to his response to an accident at the Reno Air Races in September 2011 as well as for his work to broaden cadets' experience with manned and unmanned aircraft.

During the aircraft accident in Reno, Nev., Osteroos responded "without hesitation," according to his award nomination. He helped set up a triage area and coordinated aid and logistics efforts to help save lives, and he ensured the physical and mental well-being of 15 cadets who traveled to the air race with him to conduct classwork for the Aeronautical Engineering 456 course, "Flight Test Techniques," which Osteroos leads.

The Flight Test Techniques course challenges cadets to set and achieve demanding academic and career goals. Osteroos procured $18,000 in funds from the Association of Graduates that introduced cadets to the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., as part of that course.

Osteroos, a volunteer unmanned aerial system research mentor, authored new small UAS flight test methodology with four cadets in the aeronautical engineering lab. As a UAS research mentor, he trains cadets and instructors in data acquisition, analysis, reporting and publishing.

Cadets have given Osteroos a six out of six in instructor quality reviews, according to his award nomination. One of the cadets in Osteroos' class said it is "obvious that (he) cared not only about our (academic) performance but how we were doing in all aspects of our lives and future careers."

Osteroos is the primary UAS pilot in command and the academic and career adviser for nine senior cadets. The award nomination credits him with setting "an excellent foundation" for the next generation of Air Force engineers, flight test engineers and test pilots.

The Wakin award, named for Brig. Gen. Malham Wakin, is presented annually to the individual or team making the greatest contribution to cadet character development during the previous calendar year. Nominees are considered for significant contributions to cadet character development, conspicuous moral courage, great personal sacrifice, conduct above and beyond the requirements of duty, and leadership and professionalism in keeping with the highest ideals of Air Force tradition, according to USAFA Instruction 36-2805, "Malham M. Wakin Character and Leadership Development Award." Wakin served as vice dean of the faculty and head of the Philosophy and Fine Arts Department from 1959-1995.

Finalists for the Wakin award are recognized at each year's NCLS dinner with a special invitation to dine with Wakin, said Lt. Col. Edward Haskell, the assistant director of cadet character and development for the Commandant of Cadets Staff.

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