4th SOPS Guardian selected as USSF 2023 GEICO Military Service Award nominee 

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jazmin Smith 
  • Space Base Delta 1 Public Affairs

We are honored to highlight one of the U.S. Space Force nominees for the 2023 GEICO Military Service Award: Spc. 4 D’Shaune J. Hemingway, Jr., a satellite vehicle operator with the 4th Space Operations Squadron, at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.  

This award recognizes a service member’s achievements and contributions on-duty and off-duty for both military and civilian communities. 

As a prior educator who worked with students with exceptionalities, Hemingway joined the Space Force to continue to make an impact while serving his country. 

“I have always treasured giving back to the community and making a difference in any individual’s life,” Hemingway said. “Experiencing how happy or motivated someone can be after a helping hand is the most gratifying feeling in the world.” 

Hemingway not only organized local park clean ups and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, but he also revisited one of his passions: education. 

The Guardian supported local special education classrooms by aiding in hands-on student activities. He also availed a STEM program for 42 Colorado Springs area educators where each teacher received a 120-page binder with guided lesson plans for each activity as well as three large plastic bins full of classroom materials such as: graduated cylinders, PVC pipes, droppers, hair dryers, rocket launcher kits, a leaf blower and many other various STEM-related items. 

“This program substantially benefited educators and their students by providing more innovative ways to teach STEM-related lessons across multiple subjects,” Hemingway said. “Throughout the workshop, all educators became the students by participating in hands-on experiments with new ideas to apply in their schools.” 

Hemingway earned a Dual Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies and is currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA in an intensive Master of Science in Space Studies. He applies the hard work ethic and mentoring skills he’s developed through higher education to motivate his peers, and he continues to set the example by chasing new ways to learn.  

“Being persistent, leading with a positive mindset and investing in yourself is my best advice to others,” Hemingway said. “When going to accomplish things in life, do everything to the fullest knowing you gave your all with no regret!”  

Hemingway applies that mindset during his workday as well. In his current position with the 4th SOPS, he is responsible for operating maneuverability and safety of flight subsystems of the Extremely High Frequency satellite constellations. He conducted strategic vehicle maneuvers, encompassing a total of 55 hours of active command time, expanding the capabilities of a $1.2 billion asset, and increasing protected communication coverage by 50%. He also helped guide a first ever upgrade, increasing a satellite’s survivability in a contested and congested space environment.  

“I’m extremely proud of Spc. 4 Hemingway, and honestly, this recognition comes as no surprise,” said Lt. Col. Michelle Haines, 4th SOPS commander. “He is an exemplary member of the 4th SOPS formation, he’s a mentor to his troops on crew, and he truly embodies the Guardian values we talk about every day: character, connection, commitment and courage. These values unite our Guardians, make us stronger and sustain us as a ready force – and most importantly, they reflect what we believe as a service.”    

The 4th SOPS falls under Space Delta 8 – Satellite Communications – and is charged with operating the Space Force's protected and wideband military satellite communications systems.  

Hemingway said he transformed into the leader he is by constantly improving himself through education, training, certifications, work ethic, and being a servant leader in his workplace and community, all of which he emulates from his father. 

“My father, Jackie, is my biggest inspiration,” Hemingway said. “He continuously motivates me to this day through his persistent display of selflessness and helping others, whether it was at work, in the community, or at home. He made such a difference in so many lives. 

“I also want to thank my incredible spouse, Taylor, for her sacrifices and support as well as my leadership team. It is truly an honor to be able to represent the Space Force at such a high level!”  

One active-duty service member from each branch is slated to be announced as the service’s respective winner in April 2024.