Major David L. Helton

Major David L. HeltonMajor David L. Helton is the Operations Flight Commander at the University of Memphis, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Detachment 785. Major Helton is a professor of Aerospace Studies for the University and is primarily responsible for recruiting new cadets, overseeing cadet operations, educating and commissioning the current Flying Tigers.

Major Helton has 26 years of Air Force experience. He entered the Air Force in 1992 as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist and served 12 enlisted years as a weapons loader, crew chief, evaluator and instructor on the F-16 aircraft. He earned his commission as a Distinguished Graduate from Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB, AL in 2004. After serving as a Space Crew Commander, Staff Instructor and Chief of Training at the 20th Space Control Squadron Eglin AFB, FL, Major Helton returned to his passion of teaching in 2008 as an Air & Space Basic Course Flight Commander and Director of Training at Maxwell AFB. He then served as the Executive Officer for three Commanders and Assistant Director of Operations at the 561st Joint Tactics Squadron, Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV.

Along the way, Major Helton has earned Associates degrees in Weapons Systems Technology, Instructor of Technology Military Science from the Community College of the Air Force, Independent Studies at the University of South Carolina, and Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle in 2003 and his Master's degree in Sports Management from the American Military University in 2011. He has also earned the coveted Master Instructor Award from Air Education and Training Command (AETC) as well as a civilian Occupational Instructor Certificate in a career that has saw him named Instructor of the Year in two different AETC wings, Load Crew of the Year at Shaw AFB, SC and Distinguished Graduate from Airman Leadership School (Shaw AFB) along with a host of other awards.

Weapons Crew Member, 77 FS, Shaw AFB, SC JUL 92 – NOV 95
Weapons Crew Member, 35 FS, Kunsan AB, ROK NOV 95 – DEC 95
Weapons Lead Crew, 8 OG, Kunsan AB, ROK DEC 95 – NOV 96
Weapons Lead Crew, 20 OG, Shaw AFB, SC NOV 96 – APR 98
Weapons Lead Crew Chief, 20 OG, Shaw AFB, SC APR 98 – JAN 00
ICT Academics Instructor, 20 OG, Shaw AFB, SC JAN 00 – MAR 01
Field Training Instructor, 372d TRS, Shaw AFB, SC MAR 01 – MAY 04
Crew Commander, 20 SPCS, Eglin AFB, FL OCT 04 – FEB 05
Staff Instructor, 20 SPCS, Eglin AFB, FL FEB 05 – MAY 06
Chief of Training, 20 SPCS, Eglin AFB, MAY 06 – MAY 08
Flight Commander, Air & Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, AL MAY 08 – JUN 10
Deputy Director of Training, Air & Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, AL MAY 10 – MAY 11
Executive Officer, 561st JTS, Nellis AFB, NV MAY 11 – APR 13
Assistant Director of Operations APR 13 – MAR 14
Operations Flight Commander MAR 14 – Present

Basic Military Training (BMT), Lackland AFB, TX APR 1992
Weapons Systems Fundamentals, Lowry AFB, CO 1992 JUL 1992
Airman Leadership School (ALS), Shaw AFB, SC JUN 1997
AS, Weapons Systems Technology, CCAF APR 1999
Basic Instructors Course (BIC), Sheppard AFB, TX FEB 2001
AS, Instructor of Technology Military Science, CCAF APR 2003
Occupational Instructor Certificate MAY 2003
BS, Professional Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle University MAY 2003
Officer Training School (OTS), Maxwell AFB, AL MAY 2004
Officer Space Prerequisite Training (OSPT), Vandenberg AFB, CA JUL 2004
Air & Space Basic Course (ASBC) In Res, Maxwell AFB, AL FEB 2005
Squadron Officer School (SOS) In Res, Maxwell AFB, AL MAY 2009
MAS, Sports Management, American Military University FEB 2011
Advanced Space 200 Course JUN 2013

Air Force Commendation Medal (with 5 devices)
AF Outstanding Unit Award (with 5 devices)
AF Organizational Excellence Award
AF Good Conduct Medal (with 4 devices)
National Defense Service Medal (with 1 device)
Kosovo Campaign Medal (with 1 device)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
AF Overseas Ribbon Short
AF Longevity Service (with 4 devices)
USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Rifle)
AF Training Ribbon

(Current as of Nov 2017)