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Vandenberg airman wins Stars and Stripes BEYA award

Maj. Brendan O'Neal

Maj. Brendan O’Neal - 14th Air Force Analysis and Assessment Branch chief.


Maj. Brendan O’Neal, 14th Air Force Analysis and Assessment Branch chief, was recognized as the winner of the 2018 Stars and Stripes U.S. Air Force award during the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference Feb. 9, in Washington D.C.

The Air Force level award recognized O’Neal for serving with distinction while working for a command with missions to procure, develop and employ new technologies and systems. Additionally, the award recognized O’Neal’s dedication and support for the Air Force through mentorship, value based service, advocacy for STEM and exemplary character.   

“It is truly an honor and very humbling to win this award,” said O’Neal. “I’m very grateful that I work with amazing airmen every day and this award represents the hard work that is done by not just me but all of the airmen I work with on a daily basis.”

While assigned as the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron chief analyst, Nellis AFB, Nev., O’Neal was responsible for determining effectiveness and suitability for new aircraft, weapons, and avionics for Headquarters Air Combat Command.

During this assignment O’Neal facilitated analysis for 100 F-16 Fighting Falcon flight program test missions; validating fixes for five operational flight program deficiencies and a $1.5 million upgrade. Additionally, O’Neal developed the test methodology for F-16 towed decoy analysis; nearly doubling the likelihood of F-16 survivability. 

As the 14th Air Force Analysis and Assessment Branch chief, O’Neal advanced analytical studies of electromagnetic interference on spacecraft, and continued development of an improved lessons learned program for 14th Air Force. 

The award also recognized O’Neal for demonstrating exceptional character outside of his assigned duties.

O’Neal mentored numerous junior military officers on professionalism, supported in school tutoring programs, and he continues to advocate for advances in STEM and STEM education.

“Major O’Neal’s superb duty performance and dedication to excellences in all he does made him a perfect choice for this award,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, 14th Air Force commander. “Congratulations on this momentous achievement Major O’Neal. You have made your service and your country proud.”