News: Dayton Keystone shines for agency, Air Force
Story by Thomas Perry
FORT LEE, Va. - Tyler Mohr was born to serve his country. Mohr, a Defense Contract Management Agency Dayton Keystone contract administrator, was raised in a military family. He grew up a self-proclaimed “Air-Force brat” traveling with his father, a now retired Air Force major, and embracing the military mindset of service before self.
So in April 2013, when Jim Cox, DCMA Dayton Contracts Group manager, contacted Mohr about a possible entry-level position within the agency, he was enthused. During the exchange, Cox explained the agency’s mission and what role Mohr would serve to that end.
After listening to Cox’s job description, Mohr was convinced DCMA was where he belonged. He remembered a lot of his formerly-deployed friends talking about how important it was to have quality equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“When Mr. Cox told me that I would be playing a vital role in ensuring the warfighter was receiving the right equipment at the right time, I couldn’t wait to get started,” said Mohr.
After joining the agency through the Keystone program, his work ethic and dedication quickly proved beneficial.
“His bearing and attitude translate well, especially when working with military organizations, and his professional demeanor is a plus when working with contractors,” said Jim Schwerman, a DCMA Dayton Contracts team leader. “Tyler is a great addition to DCMA and is one of the many excellent young employees who have joined DCMA through the Keystone program. Tyler is the future of DCMA, and I am optimistic about DCMA’s future knowing we have him.
Mohr’s DCMA future is bright and his leaders are excited by his agency success, but this chapter of his life is only half of his story.
“Growing up an ‘Air Force brat,’ I always knew at some point I wanted to join the military,” said Mohr, now 30-years-old. “I wanted to be part of a higher calling and be part of an organization where responsibility, accountability, justice and humility are at the forefront of your daily actions.”
Hoping to find a career that fit those professional values and to meet the expectations of family tradition, he enrolled in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at North Dakota State University when he was 19-years-old.
But, like many college students, he was not a big fan of waking up before sunrise. This and the lure of college lifestyle temporarily shifted his goals. He left the Air Force ROTC and finished college as a civilian.
Mohr’s college experience was academically successful, but soon after graduation, his desire to serve reignited his passion to become a member of the U.S. armed forces.
“After college, I had looked into Officer Training School for the Air Force, but at the time, OTS slots were hard to come by and were relatively limited to individuals with specific degrees,” said Mohr, who currently holds the rank of senior airman as a member of the Air Force Reserve. “That is really when I started to get the itch to join.”
Eleven years later after leaving ROTC, he now has a promising Air Force Reserve career and recently earned the Air Force Reserve Command 2013 Outstanding Airman of the Year award.
With more than 70,000 service members, the Air Force Reserve has no shortage of exceptional performers. Each year, wanting to further define excellence, it names outstanding airmen in four enlisted categories including first sergeant, senior noncommissioned officer, NCO and airman.
“Words truly can’t explain how I felt the night of the awards,” said Mohr, a 445th Airlift Wing command post controller at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. “I was shocked when they called my name, but at the same time, I was so excited. My smile probably stretched from ear-to-ear. The whole process has been a great and valuable experience that I will never forget.”
Karen Miller, a retired Air Force senior master sergeant, originally nominated Mohr for the award after identifying him as a top performer.
“Senior Airman Mohr has been a pleasure to work with,” said Miller. “He is the type of airman who knows what needs to be done and then gets it done. He is reliable, confident and is always looking for ways to make things better. He is a great role model for all young airmen, and represents the Air Force Reserve with pride. We are all very proud of him in the 445th Airlift Wing.”
Mohr is currently activated and won’t return to DCMA until this fall. Now on active duty, he most likely awakes each morning far before sunrise, but 30-year-olds often need less sleep than teenagers, especially when they have a reason to wake up.
“I serve because I want to give back a small portion of what has been given to me,” he said.