May 11, 2014 Updated: May 11, 2014 at 10:05 am
Regardless of his hockey roots, when his 12-year-old son needed a soccer coach, avid sports fan Master Warrant Officer Jeffery Reid, 50, of the Royal Canadian Air Force jumped in with both feet.
A London, Ontario, native, Reid has served at the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs twice in his 26-year career.
He is a fan of the Broncos, the Avalanche and the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He thinks there's something about the Pikes Peak region that brings out the best in athletes.
"It's breathtaking here. You want to come here and train every day," Reid said.
The superintendent for NORAD Operations Division at Peterson Air Force Base, Reid is one of five senior enlisted service members nominated to represent the military communities of Colorado Springs as the Outstanding Enlisted Member of the Year. The award will be given at the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance Armed Forces Week Luncheon on Tuesday.
"It's an honor to be able to represent my country, and actually both countries, as a nominee. We work really hard, and it's not an individual effort. It's a team effort," he said.
"I have a lot of people that I work with to get the results we get. It's really a team award, and it's recognized that way," Reid said.
Canadians play a huge role in the binational NORAD, and Colorado Springs represents that largest permanent foreign deployment of Canadian troops.
As the operations superintendent, Reid advises the operations officer on manning issues and evaluations and assists as part of an advisory council to NORAD leaders.
Reid has two more years at NORAD and in Colorado Springs, but he said he's in no hurry to retire because he loves what he is doing.
"I've got 10 more years I can serve as long as I stay healthy and the Canadian Forces need me," Reid said.
Though he expects to return to Canada once this assignment with NORAD is complete, he said that as long as his wife, Marie, a former airman for the U.S. Air Force, daughter Natalie, 14, and son Nicholas are with him, he's prepared for anything.
"It will work out regardless of where they put me. As long as I keep my family with me, I'm good," Reid said.
"The Canadian Forces pay really well, and I really believe in the honor of serving. But getting my children through college . then my job is done," Reid said.
Reid has served six operational assignments in Canada, Germany and the U.S. and two tours in Afghanistan.