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Humans of Scott: Staff Sgt. Daniel Merritt’s passion as an Airmen dorm leader

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Dequan Simmons
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Merritt, an Airmen dorm leader for Scott Air Force Base, has an unbridled passion for not just the work he and his team do on installation, but is driven to make life better for as many people as possible.

Originally a 375th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, Merritt volunteered for and willingly embraced the unique role of ADL—a position that places the well-being of Airmen in Scott AFB dorms at its heart.

“Ensuring the quality of life is adequate is the whole reason we're here,” said Merritt. “Our Airmen are the ones completing the mission; if they come home and they're cold and can't sleep, they're not going to perform well the next day.”

When the dorm superintendent had to be out of the office for two weeks, Merritt was eager to fill the position. During that time, he oversaw the installation of an automated concession stand at Belleville Hall and executed a parking plan for the 2023 Scott AFB Airshow & STEM Expo.

Merritt also created and implemented a monthly volunteering opportunity for Airmen doing bay orderly—a duty where Airmen clean dorm common areas. While performing bay orderly, the Airmen can volunteer to assist in sorting and building packages for H.E.R.O.E.S. Care, which is an organization that assists servicemembers and their families by providing goods.

Merritt is also the base point of contact for the St. Louis Honor Flight, an organization that flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials built in their honor. During two events, he organized 64 Boy Scouts, 42 Girl Scouts, 22 JROTC cadets, and 14 service members to honor 204 veterans, for which he received personal praise from Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, U.S. Transportation Command commander.

Merritt is driven by his ambition to have a broader impact that spreads beyond just the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott AFB.

“I want to do this job to have an impact,” said Merritt. “We have a lot of tenant units here and a lot of impact across different services and different wings, so just trying to be there for the Airmen is a big motivating factor.”

Although the Scott AFB dorm management office may be smaller in numbers, Merritt takes pride in his team and their abilities.

"I'd put us toe to toe with any base,” said Merritt. “There is a great team around us. People want to be here, and we're here for the right reasons. We might have a smaller footprint, but I think we have had a large impact.”

Merritt's unwavering dedication lies in the well-being of Airmen residing in Scott AFB dorms, ensuring their well-being and comfort, which translates to overall operational readiness.