Recognizing excellence: Capt. Schmidt

By Senior Airman Delaney Gonzales | Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve Public Affairs | May 18, 2020

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait —

The most innovative and hard-working Airmen supporting vital military operations in Southwest Asia were recognized by Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella Jr., Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, during a virtual troop engagement event May 8, 2020. Guastella awarded these Airmen with challenge coins for their excellence.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Jeffrey ‘Too Tall’ Schmidt, a Louisville, Kentucky native, was among those fellow Airmen recognized by the general for his extraordinary efforts.

Currently, Schmidt serves as an air liaison officer and joint fires and effects planner for Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

When presented the coin, Schmidt was overwhelmed with emotion. He knew he had his team to thank.   

“I felt guilty – that is the honest-to-God truth – I felt guilty because I am blessed with a wonderful team who all deserve this honor.”

He describes all his teammates as the cornerstone for his successes, but one teammate in particular sticks out in his mind when he reflects on his achievements.

“Master Sgt. Timberman is a rockstar,” Schmidt said. “She’s the reason I am able to do what I do.”

With his team by his side, Schmidt was able to create plans for key decision-makers -- maximizing their ability to make informed and effective decisions in theater.

“We make products prior to [certain events] so we can be proactive versus reactive to possible threats,” Schmidt explained. “I helped build the proactive plans for those certain instances, which a few times now, have gone all the way up to the President of the United States for final approval.”

Schmidt has been crucial for his unit’s planning efforts, aligning the weapons systems and combat capabilities across the various military branches.

Air liaison officers synchronize combat operations in a joint military environment. These officers coordinate air to ground integration, making them a key element in CJTF - OIR’s defeat Daesh mission.

His contributions have been an integral part of operational victories, earning him the acknowledgement from the AFCENT commander.