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Bronze Star awarded to comptroller sergeant
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Staff Sgt. Johnathan McEachin is presented the Bronze Star by Col. Douglas McBride, 593rd Sustainment Brigade commander, during a ceremony here March 3. McEachin received the medal for contract management duties on 30 contracts totaling more than $100 million in labor augmentation among other meritorious service. (Courtesy photo)
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Bronze Star awarded to comptroller sergeant

Posted 5/22/2013   Updated 5/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Mark Wyatt
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

5/22/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- A Hanscom staff sergeant was recently awarded the fifth-highest combat decoration for meritorious service during a deployment with the Army to an area of operations in Southwest Asia.

Staff Sgt. Johnathan McEachin, 66th Comptroller Squadron budget analyst, received the Bronze Star during a change of command ceremony there for the 593rd Sustainment Brigade transition to 43rd Sustainment Brigade.

While with the 593rd Sustainment Brigade, McEachin was responsible for contract management duties on 30 contracts totaling more than $100 million in labor augmentation that assisted in shutting down forward operating bases and retrograding materials.

"It was incredible to see firsthand the military, not just Americans, but our partner nations too, working together to accomplish this mission," McEachin said. "It's probably one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced."

The mission is something McEachin believes will benefit future rotations for years to come.

"The impact of what we did is going to pay huge dividends in the future because this will be an ongoing effort for the foreseeable future," he said. "We need to get equipment and personnel out of Afghanistan and home safely. It was definitely a rewarding experience."

The amount of work accomplished was measured by TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent, shipping containers. McEachin was responsible for more than 6,000 TEUs being brought back and more than $200 million of recovered vehicles, communication equipment and force professional equipment returned as well.

The son of an Army sergeant first class, McEachin is familiar with the Army culture.

"I met some incredible NCOs and senior NCOs who were dedicated to serving. It was exciting to see," McEachin said. "They helped me get through this deployment by setting the right example."

McEachin was one of three junior sergeants awarded the Bronze Star from more than 150 servicemembers serving in the area of responsibility.

Having also deployed back in 2010 to Haiti, McEachin is cognizant of his role in the fight.

"You don't realize the individual impact you have on a mission until you reflect back on what you did," said McEachin. "But I would never take individual credit for what we did, it requires a team effort to fly, fight and win."

Motivated by a lifelong friend's dad, and mentor, McEachin enlisted in the Air Force in early 2008.

"My friend's dad took me under his wing and helped me identify what was important," McEachin said. "He was a really good example for what I wanted to do with my life. He guided me in the right direction and brought me into the Air Force."

Nearing the end of his enlistment, McEachin is now seeking new challenges.

"I am looking for new opportunities, trying to position myself to continue my Air Force career," McEachin said. "I may apply to be an Airman Leadership School instructor or complete my degree and apply to OTS [Officer Training School]."

McEachin, who just received his Community College of the Air Force degree in Financial Management, is taking classes now to complete his bachelor's degree.

Not unfamiliar to success, McEachin has won several wing, group and squadron quarterly awards, and annual awards. He also was selected for below-the-zone promotion and received the Commandant Award while in Airman Leadership School.

McEachin is proud of his latest accomplishment, but ranks it second among his many since enlisting in January 2008.

"I am most proud of getting selected below-the-zone," he said. "I feel like I really fought to receive that by conforming to the Air Force standards, which was something I had to do initially upon coming in the Air Force."

He also understands that receiving the Bronze Star is a product of being involved in a great mission and receiving support from his leadership.

"The Bronze Star is more a result of being supported by great leadership, doing the right thing while I was down range and making the most of our time while there to help our fellow servicemembers," said McEachin. "It's still pretty surreal though."

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