The Greer Foundation presents this special award to individuals who display the characteristics of Master Sergeant David K. Thuma - incredible stamina, superior fitness, energy, and strength.
Greer first met Dave Thuma in 1992 at Fort Bragg, NC. Dave was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, KY and was attending the Special Forces Advanced Non-commissioned Officers Course at Fort Bragg, NC. Greer was his Small Group Instructor during the 12 week course. Their love for fitness formed a lasting friendship. Following Dave's tour at Fort Campbell he was reassigned as an instructor for the NCO Academy. They began training together and were often found teaming up to compete in swim, bike, run races across the east coast or pedaling racing bikes past the rifle ranges on Fort Bragg.
In 1994, the Army recognized Dave's superior leadership and reassigned him to 3rd Special Forces Group. Within months of taking over his detachment, he was deployed to Haiti. Not surprisingly to those who knew him, Dave was selected to brief President Bill Clinton in Haiti on the progress of United States Special Forces in the region.
In 1995, Dave was selected as the Outstanding Member of the United States Special Operations Command, which oversees all Special Operations Forces for the United States Army, United States Air Force Special Operations Wing, and the United States Navy SEALS. His selection earned him the coveted Veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Award for Excellence - awarded annually to the most outstanding special operator within the United States military.
Dave was one of those rare individuals who pushed you beyond your limits...and then talked you into another mile! Tragically, on June 18, 1998, Master Sergeant Thuma, whose physical prowess was legendary in the special forces community, died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. He was leading his SCUBA detachment's morning physical fitness training while deployed to Kenya. He was 36 years old. At the time he was the Team Sergeant for Special Forces SCUBA Detachment ODA 385, 3rd Special Forces Group (A).
In 2000, The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School dedicated its NCO Academy to the memory of Dave. He is survived by his wife, Josee (a former French military officer who Dave met while deployed to Pakistan), and son, Bradley, now a US Army Airborne Ranger who served in Iraq. In 2013, Dave's high school honored him with induction into the Tecumseh High School Hall of Honor.
In 2010, the foundation established this award to honor Dave's legacy and insatiable drive toward physical excellence. The award consists of a custom embroidered patch and plaque.