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Special agent earns Military Outstanding Volunteer medal

OSI 4th Field Investigations Squadron Special Agent Justin Acree cuts fabric for protective masks. SA Acree personally made 1,556 face covers for communities across Germany to help cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by SrA Elizabeth Baker, Ramstein AB/PA)

Justin Acree, Air Force Office of Special Investigations 4th Field Investigations Squadron special agent, cuts fabric for protective masks. Acree personally made 1,556 face covers for communities across Germany to help cope with the pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

QUANTICO, Va. (AFNS) -- Three days before Thanksgiving, the Department of Defense expressed its appreciation to an Air Force Office of Special Investigations special agent for his selfless volunteer efforts.

Lt. Col. John Longmire, 4th Field Investigations Squadron commander, presented Master Sgt. Justin Acree with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal Nov. 23.

The MOVSM is a DoD award recognizing active duty, reserve and national guard members who perform substantial volunteer service to the local community above and beyond the duties required as a member of the United States Armed Forces.

The volunteer service must be made in a sustained and direct nature towards the civilian community, must be significant in nature to produce tangible results, and must reflect favorably on the military service and the United States Department of Defense.

Acree says the impetus to volunteer originated with his spouse, Mindi.

“My wife came to me when she realized people were using T-shirts and bandanas since masks were not readily available and mission-critical personnel still needed to work in close proximity to one another,” he said. “Then we decided to leverage social media and created a Facebook group, which is when things really took off.”

A key behind-the-scenes aspect to this good news story was the foresight of Acree’s 4th FIS wingman, Ryan Watson, a special agent, who informed 4th FIS leadership of the extraordinary efforts of Acree and his spouse. Watson’s proactive communication enabled the leadership team to recognize the community involvement, by surprise.

“This was a complete surprise and unexpected,” Acree said. “I told my wife this award belongs to her since she was the driving force who kept us going when I wanted to give up. Even today she still helps out and is working on morale Christmas masks for the clinic.”

The collective efforts of the 4th FIS Team showcased OSI’s Operation Developing Our 300, or DO300, commitments of: building a culture of trust; open communication; and creating a safe environment for OSI Airmen, military and civilian, and their families to work and live.

“We appreciate the ICON Center support in making this happen,” Longmire said. “We have some amazing people, doing some amazing things!”

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