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Veteran Garners Top Air Force Civilian Award

Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS) celebrates Veteran’s Day and one of its award-winning employees. Mr. Mike Peterson, veteran and now Air Force civilian, is Chief of the Outreach Division, and was recently recognized as the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Civilian of the Year after only a year and a half on the job!

The veteran and now Air Force civilian is responsible for both internal and external communications. He helped build a top-notch team and his dedication and superior performance are behind his recent award.

“I oversee the folks who are working with all of our major key audiences–parents, graduates, legislative liaisons, speech writers and senior leadership.”

In addition to working with his team, he has a wide range of responsibilities and that’s how he likes it.

Mike manages the Air Force Academy’s visitor experience, serves as the point of contact for seven different foundations associated with the Academy, and works to build strong bonds in the community.

“We get lots of different visitors from all over the country. The variety makes it exciting. When we are welcoming people here, whether it’s a distinguished visitor or a group of tourists, we are trying to create a great experience for them so they can understand what the Academy is all about, what it has to offer and the kinds of graduates we’re producing.”

“We’re working hard to develop our community outreach. The Academy has been here in Colorado Springs for 60 years now. It’s been 17 years since 9-11 and there are still people who live downtown who think they aren’t allowed on campus. We’re reaching out to community leaders, business leaders, and members of the Chamber of Commerce, working to get them engaged and connected to the Academy again. Whether they are from the local community or across the country, we are always trying to bring people in here.”