Air Force

April 11, 2014

Instructor pilot selected as Olmsted scholar

Tags:
Capt. AMY WEST
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Capt. Daniel Wynn, 56th Operations Support Squadron operations flight commander, prepares to refuel in an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a combat mission over Afghanistan in August 2011.

For many U.S. military members, living in a foreign country is common place. In fact, many Americans join the military for that opportunity, but few can say they served in China. However, a 56th Fighter Wing instructor pilot will soon do just that. Capt. Daniel Wynn, 56th Operations Support Squadron operations flight commander, was among just five Air Force officers selected for the Olmsted Scholar Class of 2015.

The highly competitive program, which is sponsored by The George and Carol Olmsted Foundation, offers military line officers with at least three years of commissioned service but not more than 11 years of total active-duty service an opportunity to learn a foreign language and then study abroad at an international university.

“My first feeling was relief to finally know the results of the selection board after an eight-month application process,” Wynn said, who found out in late March that he was selected. Then his thoughts quickly shifted to preparing himself and his family for this new adventure.

“I’m really proud of his accomplishment because it is such a selective program that even the best get passed over,” said Lt. Col. Keith Rockow, 56th OSS commander.

Officers from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps may apply for the program, which prepares graduates for more leadership responsibilities and opportunities. This year only 18 officers were selected from the four military branches. Each year, the number of scholars chosen varies based on the foundation’s financial ability to support them and the available pool of qualified candidates. During the past 10 years, the average number of scholars selected each year has been 20.

Since its inception in 1960, the program’s purpose has been to broadly educate young career military line officers who exhibit extraordinary potential for becoming the country’s future military leaders, which according to Rockow, Wynn epitomizes.

“He has such a perfect personality and approach to life that make him a great fit for The Olmsted Scholar Program,” Rockow said.

“You can tell by being around him for a little while that he has a genuine interest and concern to help people and make those around him better. Additionally, he has the ability to listen to others and understand their perspective. This makes him a great fit to represent our Air Force and our country as part of the Olmsted program.”

Following his assignment at Luke, Wynn will begin classes in July at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., where he will study and master Mandarin in one year. From there, the dad to four children will move with his family to Guilin, China, to attend Guangxi Normal University as a full-time student to earn a Master of Arts in International Relations. This degree will also serve as his Intermediate Development Education.

“I really like foreign languages, which is one of the reasons I chose China as a possible location for my Olmsted scholarship,” said the captain, who in addition to English speaks Portuguese fluently and has a background in Italian, Spanish and French. “The challenge of learning Mandarin intrigues me.”

For as long as he can remember, Wynn has been interested in learning about other cultures. As a cadet, he had an opportunity to take an extended break from the U.S. Air Force Academy to serve as a Latter Day Saint missionary in Brazil.

“Not only did that experience teach me fluent Portuguese, but there is something about being immersed in another culture that helps you understand people better, to include what motivates them,” Wynn said. “I wanted to be an Olmsted scholar to get another valuable experience like that, to learn another language and also to give my family the opportunity to be immersed in another culture.”

From this upcoming experience, Wynn feels he’ll gain valuable communication and leadership skills to make him a better communicator, instructor and officer.

“One important aspect to leadership and instructing is understanding what motivates those you are leading and instructing,” the eight-year veteran said.” I think that if I can learn how to understand someone from a small city in China, it’ll help me understand the Airmen that I work with throughout the rest of my career in the Air Force.”

The Olmsted Foundation strongly encourages the scholars’ families to accompany them throughout the program.

“My kids are never excited about moving, but always end up liking our next assignment,” Wynn said. To prepare for the move to China, they’ve been watching a lot of Ni Hao Kai-Lan episodes on Nickelodeon, “and now they are pumped.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Hecker assumes command of 19th Air Force

Courtesy photo Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, presents the unit guidon to Maj. Gen. James Hecker during the 19th Air Force assumption of command ceremony June 23 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolp...
 
 

Air Force News – June 26, 2015

Alaska Firefighters from the 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson recently assisted with the Division of Forestry’s efforts in containing the Sockeye wildfire near Willow. The fire is estimated to cover more than 7,000 acres of land.   Virginia The 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games opened June 19 with about 250 athletes...
 

 

People First – June 26, 2015

EPME enrollment notifications begin The Air Force Personnel Center recently initiated a phased approach to notify approximately 83,000 Airmen of the requirement to enroll in the applicable enlisted professional military education distance learning course. AFPC will notify 20,000 Airmen at the beginning of each month until all members have been notified. In July 2014, the Air...
 
 

Air Force News – June 19, 2015

Poland In support of Baltic Operations 2015 June 5 through 20, a team of Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron deployed to Powidz Air Base, maintained communication requirements for the Air Force at the installation. Baltops is a multinational maritime exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability. Southwest Asia Since Aug. 8, coalition airpower...
 
 

People First – June 19, 2015

Selected MSgt evals close out Sept. 30 Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve master sergeant and master sergeant-select enlisted performance reports will now close out annually on Sept. 30. In addition, as of June 3, , master sergeants and selects will no longer receive change-of-reporting-official EPRs. Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>