Retiring War Hero to be appointed to Santa Rosa County oversight committee

Posted on March 11, 2024 by Romi White

Col. Allison Black, who is retiring from the U.S. Air Force later this year after 32 years of service, is being appointed to Santa Rosa County’s Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Oversight Committee, a 10-member board which makes recommendations to county commissioners on how to spend LOST funding.

Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Sam Parker, who serves as the District 1 Commissioner, nominated Black, who is a resident of Navarre, for the appointment.

In Parker’s absence due to out-of-town travel, Commission Vice Chairman James Calkins presided over Monday’s meeting and after related discussion moved without objection to place the official vote on Thursday’s consent agenda.

“(Parker) couldn’t have found a better person,” said Calkins, pointing out Black’s legacy, which includes becoming the first female to be awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal. Calkins said his daughters can look up to Black as a role model, warrior and patriot.

Black recently served as Commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field but during Operation Enduring Freedom she served as navigator aboard the AC-130H Spectre piloted by fellow Navarre resident Col. Craig J. Walker, USAF (Ret.), who was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Air Medals for his service.

“Allison is an ideal appointment for this committee,” Walker told South Santa Rosa News. “She has the perfect balance of leadership and strategy to help identify the best options for LOST funding that will have the biggest impact for the residents of Santa Rosa County.”

District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright said that while Black is “definitely a war hero,” her time as a Hurlurt commander, overseeing infrastructure and other responsibilities on the military installation, makes her especially qualified to serve on the LOST committee.

Her appointement will become official Thursday, following approval of the consent agenda during the board’s regular meeting.