Kent State professor pinned for excellence


Major Daniel E. Finkelstein, professor of aerospace studies for AFROTC, recieves his pin at his promotional ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 3 from James D. Hunsicker. Major Finkelstein was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Photo by Leah Klafcznski.

Chase Bonhotel

Major Daniel Finkelstein, professor of aerospace studies at Kent State’s AFROTC, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel Tuesday at Moulton Hall.

The AFROTC division at Kent State is the seventh largest in the region and the 24th largest in the country.

The ceremony was not only a promotion of rank, but also recognition of the Meritorious Service Medal — an award presented to Finkelstein for his outstanding service to the United States military. He has displayed a record of unparalleled professionalism in establishing analytic capabilities across Air Force Global Strike Command.

Finkelstein was the lead analyst for a $25 million long-range standoff missile analysis of alternatives. He led a 64-person team, which evaluated material solutions for the greatest potential efficacy in replacing the air-launched cruise missile, all part of a Defense Acquisition System. The Air Force Chief of Staff later affirmed his statistical analysis — a $15 billion program.

The promotion ceremony honored his perpetual list of achievements, but for Finkelstein it had a more emotional meaning.

“It means a lot because it’s recognition of a job well done,” Finkelstein said. “It wouldn’t matter if I was Lt. Col., Maj., Col. or any other rank. The chance to wear the uniform is an amazing privilege.”

Retired Lt. Col. James D. Hunsicker, Finkelstein’s supervisor at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, flew to Kent to pin his friend of three years.

“He has the potential to serve at the next highest grade, the sky is the limit for him, this is just the next stepping stone,” Hunsicker said. “In the last two years he has been recognized for more achievements than anyone I have ever seen.”

The 150 cadets in attendance were humbled by the promotion of their mentor.

“It’s an awesome motivational tool,” Ct. Col. Theodore Rask said. “It gives you butterflies.”

Contact Chase Bonhotel at [email protected].