July 22, 2024

Fort Walton Air Force Safety Officer Awarded for Outstanding Achievements

Columbia Southern University recently awarded its annual Outstanding Safety Professional of the Year Award to Air Force Technical Sgt. Jarell Clemons of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

The university’s College of Safety and Emergency Services faculty selected Clemons, a student pursuing his bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health, based on his numerous awards and efforts to keep military men and women safe.

“Prior to enlisting, I held various temporary jobs—landscaping, factory work, and real estate. I soon realized these roles weren’t sustainable for me, and I needed a change of scenery and more stability in my life,” he explained. “Following an injury at a cement factory, I realized that this wasn’t the life for me. In November 2005, I made the decision to visit the recruiter’s office and commit to the Air Force.”

Clemons became the occupational safety manager of the 479th Flying Training Group, which comprises 300 permanent staff and 180 students annually. His personal injury would serve as an inspiration for his career.

“During my interview with the safety office, I shared my personal story of sustaining an injury where my employer neglected basic responsibilities—no injury report was filed, lack of record-keeping, and I had to cover my own medical expenses. It was through my exploration of safety practices that I became aware of workers’ rights. Armed with my personal experiences and driven by the desire to ensure everyone’s protection and awareness of their rights, I was motivated to pursue a career in safety.”

Clemons has won the Pacific Air Forces Safety Non-Commissioned Officer Award, the Chief of Safety Special Achievement Award, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for starting a toy drive and free library at Kadena Air Base.

The Outstanding Safety Professional Award was established by CSU to recognize National Safety Month, observed annually in June, and to celebrate its occupational safety and health students and graduates for their commitments to safety, professionalism and their accomplishments.

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.