2018 Airman of the Year
Captain Julian Gluck
Serving in a war can be a time-consuming experience — flying a B-52 Stratofortress bomber in two different combat zones even more so.
But Capt. Julian Gluck didn’t let that stop him from finding service opportunities in a new community.
Over the course of his six years of service, Gluck has given back to the communities in which the Air Force embeds him — be it foreign workers in Qatar, Japanese airmen over the Pacific Ocean, or local high school students outside his home duty station of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
While deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, to fly combat missions against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as well insurgent forces plaguing Afghanistan, Gluck reached out to the foreign workers on and off base. He helped to organize, unpack and distribute undergarments, T-shirts and other items, while traveling around to meet with the foreign workers who would ultimately receive the donations.
Later in the deployment, Gluck collected and donated 27 large boxes of food, medical supplies and children’s toys to a church in Doha, Qatar.
“We had six months out there, and I was trying to find some volunteer opportunities to do something other than just ‘slaying the mish’ or going off-base to get falafel,” Gluck said.
On a separate deployment to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Gluck advised the local Knights of Columbus directors and participated in different events on the island, such as Habitat for Humanity, local animal shelters, and even ocean-side pier cleanup thanks to his scuba dive license.
At home, Gluck volunteered more than 300 hours for five organization across the United States throughout 2017. He also was the Louisiana state young adult director for the Knights of Columbus — the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization and a Fortune 1000 non-profit.
In his role with the Knights of Columbus, Gluck coordinates about 33,500 individuals across 300 state locations. Combined, they conducted 1.9 million hours of volunteer service and disbursed roughly $3 million in 2017.
On top of that work, Gluck is also the deputy commander for the Barksdale Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, where he mentors 55 local cadets and senior members.