Excellence in all he does: Warrior of the North earns 2015 AF top male athlete honors
By Airman 1st Class Ryan Sparks, 319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 25, 2016
GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Most Airmen play an intramural sport at least once in their career. We can all picture that one Airman that is undeniably the best player on the field. Diving for catches, making laser throws and putting their heart and soul into every play.
That level of passion is what earned Staff Sgt. John Allen, 319th Communications Squadron high frequency global communications system operations manager, the title of 2015 Air Force Male Athlete of the Year.
"It's pretty humbling, I wasn't expecting it at all," said Allen. "It's a tremendous honor and I don't take it lightly."
Allen was a member of the 2015 All-Air Force Men's Softball team as well as the Joint Task Force Hawaii team and was the was named to the All-Tournament Team, Defensive Most Valuable Player, after the team won the United States Specialty Sports Association Military World Softball Championship
'Work hard, play hard' is a mantra that could describe Allen's approach as an Airman.
"Deep down I'm a competitor and I do think that translates over," said Allen. "With softball and baseball, I go all out, I leave it all out there. I think striving for that same thing at work is the same."
Allen said he has played baseball since he was five years old. He also played a three years of college baseball before joining the Air Force. He was invited to play softball by his flight commander and his first swing was a homerun. He said playing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, gave him a lot of exposure and led to the Air Force team. Allen has been a member of the Air Force Softball team for four years in a row, and was selected to the Team USA, All-Armed Forces Softball team three years in a row.
Allen has always had a passion for baseball and he wants other Airmen to pursue their passions.
"There are opportunities no matter what you want to do," said Allen. "If there's something you want, the Air Force will support you, but first and foremost you have to do your job, you have to be good at your job and you have to allow them to trust you."