An inspiring speech was delivered to the Air Force Academy’s Fighting Falcons Football team on Wednesday, December 21st by retired AF Combat Controller, Chief Master Sergeant Michael West who emphasized that “Service Before Self” is proudly tied to the United States Air Force’s heritage and warrior spirit. His speech centered around then Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman, who on the frozen mountainside of Takur Ghar Afghanistan, fearlessly fought under heavy fire to defend the lives of his teammates. Despite severe, mortal wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before making the ultimate sacrifice. His heroic actions earned Master Sergeant John A. Chapman the Medal of Honor; the highest award bestowed upon an individual serving the Armed Forces.
On the following day, with a fierce, frigid north wind gusting over 30 mile per hour and wind chill factor seven below zero the Falcons took the field, wearing the symbol for the Air Forces Combat Control Teams on their helmets in tribute to the selfless acts of Medal of Honor recipient, Master Sergeant John A. Chapman. This 20th Anniversary of the Battle of Takur and "Service Before Self" resonated with perseverance on the field, as the unstoppable Air Force Falcons snatched the souls from Baylor's frozen bodies for a 30 -15 win in one of the coldest bowl games ever!