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IMA Airman recognized as community leader

  • Published
  • By TSgt Cierra Presentado
  • HQ RIO Public Affairs

An Airman assigned as an individual mobilization augmentee (IMA) to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Investigations, Collections and Operations Nexus (ICON) Center, was recently recognized for his hard work and dedication to the veteran community in his local area.

Special Agent (Major) Jason VanOverbeke is part of the IMA program in the Air Force Reserve. While he is recognized as an outstanding agent in his unit, he has also left a great mark in his community as the local chapter Board President of the United States Air Force Academy, Twin Cities Area Association of Graduates (TCA-AOG).
Starting out as a member of the board of directors in 2016, VanOverbeke was always involved with the program. It was not long after, that his fellow board members recognized his contributions and selected him to be the vice president of the program, and soon after, the president.

“I was grateful for the opportunity to be selected as president of the TCA-AOG,” he said. “We do a lot for the veteran community and to be the lead of that has been such a great experience.”

Under his leadership, VanOverbeke marshals the talents and resources of Air Force Academy graduates to support and serve veterans in the community, distributing more than $10k to veterans who are injured, ill, or experiencing hardship.

“Throughout the year, we put together events to support our vets,” he said. “As a group, we hold social activities such as scotch tastings, river cruises, and we also celebrate the founding of the Air Force Academy which we call our Heritage Dinner. This is one of our larger events where we celebrate the combined heritage of the academy and the Air Force at large where we partner with the parents club for current cadets and we recognize the appointees who will be attending the academy in the next year and the graduates to celebrate our shared heritage of being in the Air Force.”

During the events, VanOverbeke and his team hosts fundraisers and donates the proceeds to support other veterans causes such as the AFA Foundation and Holbrook Farms who services widowed spouses of service members killed in action. They also stay on the lookout for other volunteer operations to help organize for the local community.

 “I provide the leadership to make some of those decisions and I’ll run our business meetings and set the agenda and coordinate the various activities we choose to do,” he said. “We’re just trying to help our fellow veterans and make the world a better place.”

Although VanOverbeke stays busy all year round, his most memorable moment with the program is the heritage dinner.

“One of the things that I am proud of is the heritage dinner,” he said. “Although our local chapter is small, we actually had the largest celebration out of any other chapter in the world for the AFA-AG. Despite not being the biggest the chapter, we have an activity that a lot of people are aware of and want to come to and celebrate. Its nice to be recognized and see the close coordination that we get with the parent’s club to put on what I think is a really great event. Being able to be a part of that and help make that happen is something I am happy and proud to be a part of.”

Not only does VanOverbeke support veterans in his free time, but he also supports the military during his everyday job working for BAE Systems Inc., as a program manager. He works with the vertical launch system making equipment for guided missile ships for the U.S Navy.

“As a defense contractor with BAE, the work that I do directly supports the Navy. I really appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve and have another way of supporting active-duty military and proving them with some of the equipment that is used today. We’re not just making stuff to give to the military, the military are my people so there’s an impact there. I have friends and classmates in the air force that are using the equipment that we’re making. It’s really nice to continue that service in my civilian capacity.”

When asked how he balances being an OSI agent, a board president and a program manager, he shares that with the help of his wife, he has a routine in place and calendar reminders.

“It can be a bit of a challenge, but once you get into a routine, it becomes pretty easy to stay on top of tasks,” he said. “If I’m overloaded or need help, I don’t hesitate to reach out to the great people I work with whether it be with my civilian job or the board or in my OSI Reserve career. Reaching out for help or relying on them for those gentle reminders is always a useful skill.”

VanOverbeke shares that coming out the Air Force teaches a lot of things such as self-discipline, the need to be organized and be aware of what’s going on around you. The ability to recognize and set priorities and address changing priorities. A lot of the success he has can be attributed to the skills and character he developed being in the military. The Reserves is an opportunity for him to continue to give back and use those skills to excel.

“We are incredibly proud to have Maj VanOverbeke on our OSI team,” said Col Jennifer Steel, IMA to the commander, OSI Center. “He is an excellent example of the way in which one total force Airman makes a tremendous impact not only amongst his Air Force family, but also within his community. We look forward to watching Jason’s Air Force career excel and are grateful that the leaders in the Twin Cities also recognize they have such a valuable asset.”