Master Sergeant Steven Edward Auchman was born on 21 April 1967 in Auburn New York. He graduated from Waterloo High School in June of 1985 and entered the USAF along with his twin brother John. He reported to Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB, Texas on 30 October 1985. After graduation, Airman Auchman completed the Ground Radio Communications Specialist Course at Keesler AFB, Mississippi on 23 June 1986. After completing his training, Airman Auchman reported to Robins AFB, Georgia where he was assigned to the 5th Combat Communications Group and then the 52d Combat Communications Squadron where he worked as an Air Traffic Control Radio Equipment Apprentice. While at Robins AFB, Senior Airman Auchman met and married the former Jennifer Smith. They have two children, Brian and Eric. In October 1989 Senior Airman Auchman was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
In February of 1990 Sergeant Auchman was assigned to the 2189th Communications Squadron at Comiso Air Station, Italy. While assigned at Comiso Air Station, he performed the duties of a Ground Radio Communications Specialist. As team chief for the Tactical Air Base Weather System deployment, Sergeant Auchman worked many hours preparing a mobile tower to support Hurricane Hugo relief efforts.
In March of 1991, Sergeant Auchman transferred to the 16th Communications Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida where he held numerous positions culminating as NCOIC of Maintenance Control. While at Hurlburt Field, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and then Technical Sergeant. Also during this period, he deployed to the 4412th Rescue Squadron at Camp Doha, Kuwait in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. During the deployment, he was NCOIC of the communications workcenter where he provided essential communication services to 126 assigned personnel. Sergeant Auchman was recognized by the 4412th Commander for his dedication to duty and sense of mission accomplishment which contributed directly to the Combat Search and Rescue Mission. After returning from the deployment, he completed his Community College of the Air Force degree and earned the Air Force Association Eagle Grant for his academic and USAF accomplishments. Sergeant Auchman completed the USAF Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in February 1999 and received an Associates degree from Okaloosa-Walton Community College in May of 1999.
In February of 2000, Technical Sergeant Auchman reported to the 426th Information Operations Squadron at Vogelweh Cantonment AIN, Germany where he worked as a maintenance technician and then as NCOIC of Plans and Engineering. During this assignment, Technical Sergeant Auchman transformed an unsatisfactory facility program into a program identified as a "banner" program by the Air Intelligence Agency Inspector General.
In May of 2002, Technical Sergeant Auchman was assigned to the 1st Combat Communications Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he was the NCOIC of Air Traffic Control Radio Maintenance. He was promoted to Master Sergeant a few months after his arrival. His workcenter received the Air and Space Communications Group's Best Communications and Information Small Workcenter of the Year Award for 2003.
Master Sergeant Auchman arrived at the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron at Ft Lewis AIN, Washington in February 2004. Upon arrival, he became the 5th ASOS Maintenance Superintendent. In October of 2004, MSgt Auchman deployed with the 5th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron in support of 1st Brigade 25th Infantry Division. On 9 November 2004 Master Sergeant Auchman was killed in action during a mortar attack on his forward operating base in Mosul, Iraq.
Master Sergeant Auchman's decorations included the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal (3 devices), Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal (5 devices), National Defense Service Medal (1 device), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Contributed by Dick Gillis from CMSgt Phillip Turgeon, 1st Combat Communications Squadron, Ramstein AB Germany.
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