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Square D Spotlight: Senior Airman Daniel Knichel

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Knichel, 321st Special Tactics Squadron Pararescueman apprentice, poses for a photograph in front of a CV-22 Osprey Feb. 24, 2016, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Knichel was selected for the Square D Spotlight for portraying the core value of Excellence in All We Do. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Halan/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Knichel, 321st Special Tactics Squadron Pararescueman apprentice, poses for a photograph in front of a CV-22 Osprey Feb. 24, 2016, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Knichel was selected for the Square D Spotlight for portraying the core value of Excellence in All We Do. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Halan/Released)

RAF MILDENHALL, England --

Name and Rank:  Senior Airman Daniel Knichel

Unit:  321st Special Tactics Squadron

Duty Title:  Parescueman apprentice

Time in Service:  4 years

Time at Mildenhall: 9 months

Core Value Portrayed:  Excellence in All We Do

Hobbies: Spending the available time I have after work with my wife and traveling through Europe while we have the opportunity. I also enjoy playing hockey, soccer, and baseball. I love the outdoors, specifically rock climbing and camping.

Why is serving in the Air Force important to you?
Serving in the Air Force is important to me because it gives me the feeling of self-accomplishment and fulfillment, knowing that I'm following in the long line of amazing men and women who have sacrificed so much, which made America's military so great. It has been the biggest challenge of my life to make it through the pararescue training pipeline, and the Air Force has given me so many experiences and memories that I will take with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life.

What accomplishment during your Air Force career are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of how I was able to utilize the skills the Air Force gave me to help others in almost any situation. Not only can I provide aid in a humanitarian setting, but I can help search for lost individuals and rescue them regardless of the environment with just a rope. What is most amazing is the fact that I'm able to provide life-sustaining treatment to injured people. It came full circle when I was driving home from training, and a fellow pararescuemen and I came upon a vehicle accident that had occurred just moments before. We were able to get to the patients and provide comfort and care until emergency services arrived. My knowledge and training directly allowed me to have a major part in saving their lives.

What are your personal and/or professional goals?
As one of my professional goals, I want to be a master of the skillsets it takes to be a pararescueman and eventually become a pararescue team leader. My personal goals include going back to school to get a degree in the medical career field. Doctor and nurse are the two careers at the top of my list. I would also like to be a skydiving and scuba-diving instructor.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is the training that I get exposed to; everything from rappelling to military free fall. I enjoy it all. But with my job, incomparable to any other job I have experienced, it's the men that I work with. We are so close that the bond is more than just friendship. It's truly being a part of a family. 

How does the individual portray that core value? 
"Senior Airman Daniel 'Triple Nickel' Knichel portrays the Air Force core values every day," said Staff Sgt. Taylor Riggan, 321st STS Special Operations Weather technician journeyman. "He takes on tasks and training that are well above his grade or experience level because he strives to be the best at all he does. In most cases a senior airman wouldn't be able to accomplish the tasks above their grade, but Knichel spends so much time after the duty day personally working on his skills. He also studies those which he has not yet mastered. Knichel does exactly what is right, even when going home sounds better. He is a great example for younger members on how to be a great Airman and embody the warrior ethos. There is never a question of his integrity, dedication to the Air Force, or his personal determination to master all he does."