Profiles in Leadership - Master Sgt. David Underwood

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group

This prior Marine has geared aircrew up for the fight across the globe and multiple airframes. Master Sgt. David Underwood started his career as a Marine Flight Equipment Technician responsible for inspecting, repairing parachutes, flight survival equipment, and more. “While in high school I read my uncle’s book draft, which told of his time in the Vietnam War as a Marine,” he said. “His experiences and who he is as a person inspired me to serve.”

The military helped him travel the world from Iraq, Japan, Guam, Bahrain, and Spain. After losing his grandparents before a deployment, Underwood decided to settle down near family and look for other options. “After 12 years of service, I thought about all the significant life events that I’ve missed and what I would miss as my parents’ health declined,” he said. “I looked into the Reserves and found opportunities with the 913th Airlift Group.”

He joined as a traditional reserve Aircrew Flight Equipment technician and was encouraged to take on first sergeant duties for two squadrons. In his spare time, he helps his troops achieve their fitness goals. During the group’s first deployment, he took the leadership reins when the section chief departed early. His efforts righted the ship and earned leaderships’ respect. Once home, he filled a full-time AFE supervisor job. Underwood said, “regardless of my previous experience, I learned a lot during the group’s deployment. I hope to instill in the Airmen sound practices; focusing on their professional development in order to provide a better product than what I inherited.”