Archive for April 2015

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For

April 30, 2015

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The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Master Sgt. Francis H. Stamer of San Fernando, California, will be buried May 6, in Arlington National Cemetery. On Nov. 1, 1950, Stamer was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when his unit was attacked by Chinese forces at Unsan village in North Korea. This attack forced the unit to withdraw five miles southeast to Ipsok village. Stamer was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950. A military board later amended his status to killed in action.

Master Sergeant Stamer was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy near Unsan, North Korea on November 2, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. MSGT Stamer’s name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. His remains have been recovered and identified. ** For his leadership and valor, Master Sergeant Stamer was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain more than 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area where Stamer was believed to have died.

To identify Stamer’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including two forms of DNA analysis; mitochondrial DNA, which matched his niece and Y-chromosomal Short Tandem Repeat (Y-STR) DNA, which matched his nephew.

Today, 7,852 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American teams.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420.

 

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Daughter, Father Serve as Air Force Instructors

April 7, 2015

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By Air Force Airman 1st Class Justine Rho
502nd Air Base Wing

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2015 – When Air Force Staff Sgt. Amanda MacFarlane first donned the traditional “campaign hat” of the service’s military training instructors, she made history.

The man handing her the hat was her father, Tech. Sgt. James MacKay, a military training instructor with the 321st Training Squadron. They are now the first father-daughter duo to serve together as instructors for new recruits.

MacKay and MacFarlane have both had unique career experiences before becoming instructors, but they both noted their shared passion for mentorship and developing airmen. They both joined the Air Force Reserve as training instructors and are now training the next generation of Airmen.

“In my previous positions, I was often responsible for training new members on their on-the-job responsibilities, and to me, that was the best part of the job,” McFarlane said. “I felt like I could make a positive impact by ensuring the airmen and noncommissioned officers had the knowledge and tools they would need to get their job done and contribute to the mission. As an MTI, you have the tremendous opportunity to have a positive impact on the next generation of airmen.”

A Unique Path

MacKay entered the Air Force as a member of the Michigan Air National Guard in November 1983 and has since been a munitions systems specialist, air traffic controller and a fire protection specialist. He’s served on active duty, in the Air National Guard, and now, the Reserves.

In 2013, MacKay was accepted as an instructor candidate and transferred into the reserves. He credited his personal success to outstanding mentors who encouraged him to complete all of his goals, including graduating from the Defense Department Fire Academy at the age of 47.

“There were many times my mentors set me up for success, both personally and professionally,” MacKay said. “I hope to pay that forward and give our newest airmen the tools they need to thrive in today’s Air Force.”

MacKay, who has another daughter currently serving in the Air Force as an air traffic controller, said he feels an immense amount of pride in both of his daughter’s careers.

Family Pride in Service

“I have always been proud of my daughters and their military careers,” MacKay said. “When (Amanda) told me she had been accepted into the instructor program, I was thrilled. I think she has the same passion for teaching and mentoring others as I do, and I believe she will find this position as challenging and rewarding as anything she’s done previously.”

MacFarlane said she’s always been proud of her father’s service and professionalism and that she looks up to him for being a positive influence.

“I’m also proud to have this chance to be a part of [basic military training] and to be able to help prepare men and women for their careers as airmen,” she continued. “I get to serve alongside my Air Force family as well as my actual family, and that means a lot to me.”

April 3, 2015

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