Services program manager nets new A1 award Published Dec. 5, 2007 By 051207 RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- He provided around-the-clock assistance to more than 200 families who suffered the loss of an active-duty member, mentored 25 Airmen seriously injured or wounded in action, and was appointed by the secretary of defense to serve on the Independent Review Group at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. These are just some of the accolades that helped John Beckett, the Air Force's Survivor Assistance Program manager at the Pentagon, earn the first 2007 Roger M. Blanchard Memorial Award for Character and Innovation. "Mr. Beckett consistently goes the extra mile and then some to make sure those who have sacrificed for our country are well taken care of," said Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, Air Force deputy chief of staff for personnel. The general presented Mr. Beckett the award during the 2007 Worldwide Manpower and Personnel Training and Professional Development Conference in San Antonio Nov. 30. As manager of the Air Force's Survivor Assistance Program, Mr. Beckett sets Air Force policy regarding the training and assignment of more than 200 family liaison officers. They provide critical assistance to family members of Airmen who have died on active duty, as well as help to ill and seriously wounded Airmen and their families. "Although this award is indeed a tremendous honor," said Mr. Beckett, "I feel privileged just to have the opportunity to help these courageous men and women. Our goal is to never have the person call another number; we do the calling and find the right expert to assist the family." Some of his other noteworthy actions for 2007 include integrating Wounded Warrior and Air Force Survivor Assistance programs, shepherding a young Airman through radical reconstructive surgery, organizing White House tours for Airmen wounded in action, preparing Air Force widows to speak at senior leader orientation courses and providing critical assistance to a mother of an Airman who committed suicide. Mr. Beckett also tracked trends in the causes of Air Force deaths and took necessary action based on statistical analysis. The new Roger M. Blanchard Memorial Award for Character and Innovation honors the former assistant deputy chief of staff for Manpower and Personnel for his outstanding service and dedication to the Air Force and nation. He passed away Sept. 30. "Roger's contributions to the A1 community and the Air Force over the years have been immeasurable," said General Brady. "He was a true mentor and a friend. He will have an everlasting influence on me and all those who were fortunate to serve with him." The Blanchard award will be presented annually to an individual in the A1 community who exhibits character, integrity, commitment and a selfless spirit of service to others. All officers, enlisted and civilian members of the Total Force A1 community are eligible for the award.