Master Sergeant Donald G. Becker
Donald G. Becker was born on December 30, 1953, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Oscar and Lucille Becker. Don grew up in North St. Louis graduating from St. Augustine's Catholic School in June, 1968. On July 3, 1970, he met Miss Benita Doerr, the future Mrs. Becker. In June 1972, Don Graduated from Central High School and started to work at a local grocery store.
On September 28, 1973, Don entered the Air Force and after basic training, went to Chanute AFB, Illinois, for Instrument Systems Specialist training.
Don arrived at his first duty station, the 23rd Avionics Maintenance Squadron, England AFB, Louisiana, in April 1974. There, he maintained systems onboard the A-7D, A-37, and T-33. On March 21, 1975, Don wed Miss Benita Doerr in a ceremony conducted at the Holy Trinity Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Benita obviously had a positive influence as Don won airman of the month in June. More good fortune came soon thereafter Don and Benita gave birth to their first child, Donald.
Don cross-trained to become a Digital Bomb/Navigation Specialist, attending technical school at Chanute AFB, Illinois, in April 1977. In December, he, Benita, and Don moved to Eglin AFB, Florida. There as shift supervisor and technician in the 33rd Component Repair Squadron, Don worked with F-4E Simulator and was directly involved with the Air Force's installation and acceptance of the Vital IV Visual System on the F-4E and A-7D. In June, Don and Benita gave birth to their second child, Nicole, and Don pinned on Staff Sergeant.
In March 1979, Don won Maintenance Technician of the quarter and got to ride in the back seat of an F-4E.
July 1979, took the Becker family to George Air Force Base, California. There, Don worked in the 35th Component Repair Squadron as shift supervisor and technician on the F-4E and F- 4G simulators and was directly involved with the installation and acceptance of the Vital IV on the F-4G.
In September 1981, Don PCS'ed to RAF Lakenheath, England, and the 48th Component Repair Squadron. There, he worked on the F-111F and received his associates degree in electronic Engineering Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
In October 1984, Don pinned on Technical Sergeant and moved to Nellis AFB, Nevada, and the 4450th Tactical Group. There, as shift supervisor and technician, Don's efforts led to the first installation and acceptance of the F-117 simulator.
In April 1985, Don heroically pulled two people from the overturned car in the picture below.
In June 1987, Don again cross-trained. As a computer operator, Don PCA'ed to the 2069th Communications Group on Nellis AFB.
At Nellis, Don was the NCOIC of the Systems Control Section and then became manager of the Base Communications Center and Base Mainframe Operations. Because of Don's efforts there, in October 1987, for the first time Nellis AFB completed fiscal year close-out early. In December 1988, Don attended the NCO Academy at Norton AFB, and in March, '89, pinned on Master Sergeant. During his stay at Norton AFB, Don was again first-on-the-scene and responded to an emergency situation. Don found a fellow student lying unconscious on the barracks floor. The other student had fallen and cracked his eye socket. Over the course of two years, Don was selected senior NCO of the quarter three times.
In November of 1990, Don supported the United State's efforts in the Persian Gulf War. As Operations Superintendent, 61st Combat Communications Squadron, 4409th Operational Support Wing, Don set up a base communications center using nothing more than two computer terminals and two line-of-site microwave communications links. These terminals provided direct AUTODIN support to the Joint Task Force's AWACS squadron, and various intelligence and weather organizations. Don received an Air Force Accommodation Medal.
Upon returning to Nellis AFB, Don coordinated all efforts for the regionalization of the Base Data Processing activities to Hill AFB, Utah. His efforts allowed the regionalization to complete six months ahead of schedule. In June of 1993, Don earned his second Associates Degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Information Systems Technology. During his assignment at the communications squadron at Nellis, Don received 19 letters of appreciation.
In February 1994, Don PCS'ed to Scott AFB, Illinois, and the 375th Communications Squadron. It was only a month before Don came to the Tanker Airlift Control Center. One year later, MSgt Becker watched as his son Don entered active duty to become the newest security Policeman and Becker in the Air Force. At the Tanker Airlift Control Center Don has served as both Shift Supervisor, Communications Control, and as NCOIC, Network Management.
On 1 December 1995, Don will retire from the active duty ranks. Don and Benita plan to settle in St. Louis County, Missouri
By Mark Darby 10/26/1995