Every morning, Master Sgt. Darrin Donovan dons the blue beret that designates he’s part of the force that protects Schriever Air Force Base and its entire workforce.

Donovan, who’s served in the U.S. Air Force 16 years, works logistics for Security Forces. He’s the man responsible for making sure airmen have everything they need for the mission: the right equipment, vehicles and labor force.

He comes from a long line of military service members and answered the call at 18.

“I wanted to give something back,” he said. “We all benefit from being citizens of this country, and I wanted to make sure I worked in service to the United States.”

Donovan was nominated by Lt. Col. Molly Spedding, who said it was an easy decision.

“His personal and professional dedication to people is reflected in the number of people I meet who name him as their mentor and confidant,” she said in an email. “Darrin is not only knowledgeable; he demonstrates true caring for others by meeting each individual where he or she is in their life.”

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Donovan says he lives by the words of John Maxwell: “Growth has to be intentional.”

That means, he said, that people need to spend their time, money and energy intentionally, with an end result in mind.

“If you pay attention to what you are doing in your daily life and at work, then you can make a real difference,” he said. “Some things are bigger than you — you have to keep learning, but more importantly, you have to show the 15 or 20 people who work for you what you’ve learned and how it can benefit them too.”

He’s lived in Colorado Springs for more than three years and has two young sons. He says he likes how connected people are in the Springs.

“It seems like everyone knows everyone else here,” he said. “And they all want to help each other in some way. It’s a very connected community.”

His community connections stem from his exceptional ability to connect with people, said Spedding.

“Through his extensive education, professional experience and personal enrichment, Darrin is able to talk to anyone at his or her level,” she said. “He is quick to step forward, assisting my organization regularly as a first sergeant. As those from the military community know, a first sergeant is a special position of trust with a unit commander, specifically entrusted to keep a finger on the pulse of morale, welfare and discipline of every member of the unit. Darrin demonstrates all the qualities required of the position: poise, patience, wisdom, tact and levity.”

— Amy Gillentine Sweet