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Gunter programmer wins AF level award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The United States Air Force values excellence. It is one of the three fundamental core values instilled in Airmen from the moment they enter the service.

As an organization, the Air Force makes an effort to recognize Airmen whose accomplishments go above and beyond the already well-established culture of excellence.

Staff Sgt. Joshua D. Hinshaw, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, proved he was among the extraordinary when he was named the Outstanding Computer Systems Programming Noncommissioned Officer of the Year in the 2013 Air Force Information Dominance Awards.

The annual award is given to the noncommissioned officer working in information dominance and cyberspace operations whose sustained superior performance and contributions benefitted the Air Force and Department of Defense.

"He stepped into a team-lead role in the Application Software Assurance Center of Excellence with little formal training on vulnerability detection and analysis," said Senior Master Sgt. William Tooke, enterprise services division superintendent, AFLCMC. "He has excelled by working hard to fully understand and learn the requirements of his job."

In 2013, Hinshaw and his team analyzed 1.1 million lines of code and detected vulnerabilities in systems used Air Force wide and in some cases across the Department of Defense. Once found, Hinshaw trained the software developers working with the Air Force to mitigate and correct the deficiencies, said 1st Lt. Arthur Boote, chief technology officer, ASACoE.

Hinshaw understands the value of his work acquiring and sustaining software in the Air Force's only software assurance cell.

"The work we perform at AFLCMC-Gunter has an impact on the rest of the Air Force," Hinshaw said.

One of Hinshaw's motivations for producing such excellent work is the ability to see how his day-to-day job impacts the rest of the service. He is often a user of the very same programs that he and his team have fixed.

"Many of the tools Air Force personnel use on a daily basis are developed and managed here," he said. "In the ASACoE, we assist Air Force program management offices in securing the software they deploy, enabling secure, reliable automated systems for Air Force employment. I'm kind of a perfectionist. The work that I produce has my name on it, and I would like my name to reflect quality in the work I produce."

Hinshaw not only dedicates himself to excellence in his duties, but in everything he does.

"Hinshaw is a great Airman," said Tech. Sgt. Jesse Gregoire, noncommissioned officer in charge, ASACoE. "He always sets the example, and he adheres to and surpasses standards for all fellow Airmen to follow with his conduct on and off duty. He is also a great leader on base, organizing a dining-in, and in the community, setting up events with the humane society."

Hinshaw is working on his bachelor's degree in computer science to continue improving the performance of his duties and growing as a technical expert. He believes his natural ability to break down problems and formulate solutions is essential to him being able to do his job well.

"One neat thing about working as a computer programmer is that there are many solutions to any particular problem," he said. "It is a matter of analyzing the problem in depth, analysis of both the short-term benefits and pitfalls, and selection of the best approach to resolving the issue. A lot of planning is in place to develop sustainable software for the Air Force. Computer programmers do a lot more than just write code."

In addition to writing code, Hinshaw travels to brief developers, commanders and elected officials about the ASACoE mission and the AFLCMC contributions to the Air Force.

"To me, the most important work he's done was related to our mission briefs," Tooke said. "Hinshaw briefed the mission of ASACoE to congressional delegates, the Air Force Materiel Command and Air Force Space Command commanders and program managers. Not only was he instrumental in securing program funding but his briefings enabled increased security throughout the Air Force for program managers who use the ASACoE process."

Though he has been recognized for his abilities, Hinshaw believes it was a team effort.
"A lot of work was put in this year working with the ASACoE, and I can't thank my leadership enough for giving me the opportunity and my peers for their help and support," Hinshaw said.

He believes it is not talent, but hard work that is the key.

"Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle," he said. "If you have any dreams or aspirations, don't sit on them. Hustle, and get it done."