Military News

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tyndall Airman awarded Air Force Commendation Medal

by Airman 1st Class Ty-Rico Lea
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/16/2015 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A Tyndall Airman was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal April 7 for actions performed while deployed to Southeast Asia.

Staff Sgt. Julian Muscarella, 44th Maintenance Squadron Low Observable Aircraft Structural Maintenance Section Chief craftsman rescued a fellow Airman from drowning at the site's base pool. The award was presented by Col. Jeff Cooper, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing vice commander.

"I was just doing what I'm sure anyone else would've done for a fellow Airman," said Muscarella. "He was swimming laps, and I guess he over did it and passed out underwater."

In order to revive the victim, Muscarella performed three rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation; after the third round, the victim was brought to consciousness.

"The other individual and I were in the base pool making use of our spare time swimming laps," said Muscarella. "At the time, I didn't know him and he didn't know me."

Air Force members are required to be qualified in Self-Aid Buddy Care which incorporates CPR training.

"Because I knew he was without oxygen for a significant amount of time, it was appropriate to take the proper steps to ensure he received air as soon as possible," he said. "After about the third round, I was able to get him conscious again."

As a low observable aircraft structural maintenance section chief craftsman, his daily tasks consist of refurnishing paint patterns and fixing the structural integrity of an F-22 Raptor aircraft.

"We are proud of the actions of Staff Sgt. Muscarella, and in how he represents himself, Team Raptor, the 44th MXS and Tyndall," said Capt. Emily Harris, 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Officer In-Charge.

According to, the medal was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 28, 1958, for award to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service. The degree of merit must be distinctive, though it need not be unique. Acts of courage which do not involve the voluntary risk of life required for the Soldier's Medal (or the Airman's Medal now authorized for the Air Force) may be considered for the AFCM.

"I feel good about it at the end of the day, and I'm just happy that he's doing okay and expected to make a full recovery," said Muscarella. "We're all brothers in arms, and you would hate to just be one of those people who stood by and let someone die in front of you whether it's a lack of training or lack of caring."

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