Published October 14, 2016
Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Wayne Norrad
, nicknamed “The God Father” in the special operations community, enlisted in the Air Force Feb. 25, 1966, as a B-52 nuclear bomb loader at Dow Air Force Base, Maine. He separated from active duty Dec. 17, 1969. After he returned to active duty Oct. 6, 1970, with an urge to have more excitement in his career, Norrad began his future as a combat controller in June 1971. During a combat jump in Operation Just Cause, one of Norrad’s troops went above and beyond the call of duty jumping into gunfire to clear an extra 1,000 feet of runway. His heroism deserved more than a commendation medal, sparking Norrad to suggest rewarding the V-device for Airmen receiving a commendation medal that goes above and beyond the original mission. After retiring from the Air Force in 1997, Norrad has given close to 20 years of additional civil service. He was inducted into the Air Commando Association Hall of Fame, received the National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations Low Intensity Conflict Division DeProspero Lifetime Achievement Award, and was selected into the U.S. Special Operations Command Hall of Honor.