The AFA presents this award--named for Gill Robb Wilson, an American pilot, minister, military advocate, writer and the first director of the Civil Air Patrol--for the most outstanding contribution to national defense in the field of arts and letters, covering a wide range of activity such as writing, speaking and media relations.
Lee earned his nomination because of his numerous writing and speaking accomplishments last year in the area of cyber security, but does not take full credit.
"My nomination is not a singular achievement by me," said Lee, "but is more a representation of a lot of work by a lot of great people, starting with my chain of command and including my Wing Public Affairs Office. I'm very thankful for the team I get to serve with."
Last year, Lee published papers on advanced cyber threats and direction of the cyberspace domain in four magazines; presented speeches at conferences in five different countries creating international alliances on battling cyber threats; and penned nine newspaper articles and six magazine stories on cyber security. Lee also devoted off-duty time to teaching free classes on cyber defense to more than 100 on-base personnel.
"We are all extremely proud of Lt Lee for being recognized at the Air Force level for his contributions," said Lt. Col. Maurizio Calabrese, Lee's squadron commander. "His selection as a finalist is well deserved, and he is a shining example of how our newest generation of Airmen are the driving force in maintaining America's advantage in the cyberspace domain."
Lee plans to continue his efforts on educating people about cyber defense in the foreseeable future.
"I will use this nomination as another piece of motivation to continue speaking and writing on the important topic of cyberspace and how we approach national security in that domain," noted Lee.
The Air Force had just three nominees for the award, putting Lee among an elite group of people.
"I'm honored to be considered for this award" said Lee, "especially with competition such as the Air Force Band and 22d Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office.
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation.
Lt. Lee is currently an Adjunct Professor at Utica College in their graduate-level Cybersecurity distance program and is publishing a book titled "SCADA and Me" in September. He is the son of Cullman residents James and Mary Lee. Lee is a 2006 graduate of Saint Bernard Prep School in Cullman. In 2012 he obtained his Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy , and in 2013 received his Master of Science from Utica College.