Former Connecticut Air Guard Member appointed Commandant, Air Force First Sergeant Academy

  • Published
  • By Sgt. 1st Class Debbi Newton
  • State Public Affairs NCO, CTARNG
Chief Master Sgt. Danny Doucette understands that he will go down in history as the first Air National Guardsman to be named commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, but he says there really is no difference between him and anyone else who has held the position.
     The Air Force is moving towards an integrated force with active, Guard and Reserve forces working together to strengthen and institutionalize relationships across the total force.
     "It's all part of the 'One Team, No Seam' concept," said Doucette from his office at Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, Alabama. "My selection doesn't really change anything. Everything is going as planned."
     He says that so far, the transition has been smooth.
     "The staff here is high speed, low drag," he said. "The caliber of instructors is very high. They run the day-to-day. I'm the navigator that steers this ship."
     Commandant of the academy is a nominative position and nine commands nominated personnel for the position. Of that nine, three were called in for interviews with Doucette coming out on top. As it turns out, Doucette is also the first former instructor from the academy to become commandant. He served as an instructor from October 2009 to September 2012 and, in 2006, he was the distinguished graduate of the USAF First Sergeant Academy.
     Doucette began his military career in 1991, first assigned after basic military training to Griffiss Air Force Base, Rome, New York.  He transferred to the Connecticut Air National Guard in May of 1993 and served as an information management specialist at Bradley Air National Guard Base until May of 1997 when he transferred to the New York Air National Guard. He was the Active Guard/Reserve first sergeant with the Northeast Air Defense Sector where he was selected as the New York First Sergeant of the Year in 2008.
     He transferred back to the Connecticut Air National Guard in February 2009 and remained there until October 2009 as an AGR personnel apprentice.
   After nine years as AGR, he accepted a Title 10 position as instructor at the First Sergeant Academy. Following a three-year tour, he became superintendent at the Total Force Service Center-Denver Air Force Personnel Center in Colorado. Before accepting his current position, he served as the ANG advisor to the Barned Center Commander, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama.
     As commandant, Doucette is responsible for the training and development of more than 500 Total Force First Sergeants annually through a blended, facilitated distance learning and in-residence program of instruction. Additionally, he is responsible for the development and validation of the course curriculum, to include the material used to train additional-duty first sergeants through the active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve components.
     "We are responsible for writing and teaching all curriculum," said Doucette. "When changes are made to an AFI (Air Force Instruction), we immediately make the changes to the curriculum and begin teaching the new material."
     Doucette had never really aspired to his current position, but education has been a large part of his life; he holds an Associate Degree in Applied Science, Human Resource Management, a Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration and two Masters degrees--one in Business Administration, Management and the other in Public Administration, Human Resource Management. He also was an adjunct professor at Columbia College.
     Doucette is the 16th Air Force First Sergeant Academy commandant. The academy's mission is to develop through education and training, selected senior non-commissioned officers to serve as advisors to commanders on issues that impact Airmen in successfully accomplishing the Air Force mission through a standardized, state-of-the-art program.
     Doucette said when he was asked to consider putting in for the position, he did not hesitate.
     "I was honored to be submitted forward," he said.
     Doucette is married with two children, and when not working, he likes to travel with his family.