HomeNewsArticle Display

Longest serving Airman also longest serving African-American in DoD

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Sylvia Saab)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Sylvia Saab)

Alfred K. Flowers spent 13 years as enlisted before going on to retire as a major general after 46 years of service.

Alfred K. Flowers spent 13 years as enlisted before going on to retire as a major general after 46 years of service.

Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, longest serving Airman and longest serving African-American service member in DoD.

Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, longest serving Airman and longest serving African-American service member in DoD.

Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers with chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen

Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers with chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's longest serving Airman, who retired this past January after nearly 47 years of service, is also the longest serving African-American service member within the Department of Defense.

Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers recently retired from the Pentagon where he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget for Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.

Originally from rural Jones County, North Carolina, Flowers enlisted in the Air Force shortly after graduation from high school in 1965. He began his career as a supply warehouseman at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., and after two years, transferred to the air transportation career field and was sent to Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. It was there he had the unenviable task of collecting casualties, taking both wounded and deceased soldiers out of the jungles during the middle of the night.

After his tour to Vietnam, Flowers was reassigned briefly to Norton Air Force Base where he met his future wife. Shortly after they were married, his wife, who was also in the Air Force, was reassigned to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. He followed several months later.

When Flowers returned to the U.S., he continued to work towards his degree, as well as retrain into the accounting field with stints in San Antonio, Texas; Charleston, S.C. and Iraklion, Greece.

Flowers finished his bachelor's degree in 1975 and a year later earned a master's degree. While at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., he was selected from promotion to master sergeant, when he was approved to attend officer training school.

In 1978, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the financial management career field and spent his first assignment as an officer at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Over the next three years he would go from deputy finance and accounting officer to accounting and finance officer to the base's budget officer.

He would begin his first stint in the Pentagon in 1985 as a budget staff officer and would go on to take the role of executive officer. After graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, he would then go down the road to Langley, Va., in 1990 as the chief of the Air Combat Command's budget operations division.

From there he would continue his education, attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, where he would earn a master's degree in 1994. He would then head back to the Pentagon, this time with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a budget officer. In 1996 he would head back to Langley this time as the ACC budget chief and promotion to colonel.

The halls of the Pentagon welcomed Flowers back in 1999, this time as director of budget programs in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. After a three-year stint, Flowers headed to San Antonio, Texas, to be the comptroller for the Air Education and Training Command. It would be during his next assignment, with the headquarters of the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., where he would pin on his first star.

In 2007, Flowers took command of the Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and pinned on his second star in 2008 before moving to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi as the commander of the 2nd Air Force.

In a special farewell commentary following Flowers' retirement, Brig. Gen. Joseph Ward Jr., commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College, and long time friend, said of Flowers: "I fear that he will solely be remembered for having been the longest serving Airman...but those of us who served with him must keep the spirit alive...must continue to tell his story as he passes the torch. His simple and straight forward blueprint for success is something we can all learn from...a strong work ethic coupled with an earnest desire for self improvement and a genuine concern for others while maintaining a positive attitude..."

Engage

Twitter
#DYK The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston… https://t.co/edfO5R1YEm
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: To the @PACAF Total Force #Airmen, thank you for your dedication to the mission and your spirit to serve. https://t.co…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: I have no doubt @PACAF will continue to grow & prosper under the steady & focused leadership of the #USAF’s newest 4-s…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: For the past 2 yrs, PACAF has transformed under Gen. Brown’s leadership with a new joint mission to deter aggression i…
Twitter
This technology keeps Airmen out of harm’s way when diffusing a bomb. One of the best opportunities to check out &… https://t.co/jWkN0Vbv6c
Twitter
RT @PACAF: Join us live July 8th, as Gen. CQ Brown Jr. relinquishes command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces to Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach. To vie…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: "Two years ago when I assumed command of Pacific Air Forces I told you that I was honored, blessed and proud. Today, I am simply…
Twitter
The Dept. of the Air Force has stood up a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in support of both the Air Force and t… https://t.co/XS2kv8pJg6
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Joint force training is the best training💪 Airmen and Soldiers routinely work together to strengthen interoperability in…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived at @EielsonAirForce Base to discuss Team Eielson's critical role in projecting @USAirForce #AirPower with t…
Twitter
Air Force surgeon general addressed #COVID19, innovation & leadership during a recent visit to Dover AFB.… https://t.co/qSpY2izHeE
Twitter
#DYK Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center serves as the single intermediate-level headquarters respons… https://t.co/dLlxQW4yFz
Twitter
I AM THE MISSION @USAFCENT Airmen discuss their missions with the MQ-9 Reaper and how they work together while dep… https://t.co/AbJupnj7o5
Twitter
Check out the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center's new mission! @HQ_AFMC #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/fRTJUKp1eb
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Col. Geoffrey Jensen, the @173rdFW's Operations Group commander, pilots an F-15 Eagle over Kingsley Field in Klamath Fall…
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: From the Arctic to Africa, the Airmen from the 86th Airlift Wing are always ready! #ReadyAF https://t.co/StKBRCTkkT
Twitter
Help make the Department of the Air Force the best place for civilians to work by voicing your opinions via the upc… https://t.co/oUOpAWD59W
Twitter
#DYK Thunderbolt IIs have Night Vision Imaging Systems, goggle compatible single-seat cockpits forward of their win… https://t.co/xWfzCBZ0xr
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,250,290
Follow Us