Time capsule gives finance office a glimpse of their past

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kathy Duran
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – During renovations to the 71st Comptroller Squadron financial office, a 28-year-old time capsule was discovered hidden in the wall at Vance Air Force Base, March 15.

The capsule contained a photograph of the 71st Comptroller Flight commemorating their 1996 Air Force Financial Management “Top Dollar” award, a transparent holiday ornament filled with shredded checks, and a morale patch featuring Buzz Lightyear.

“Seeing their accomplishments and knowing the Airmen left something back for us to see is pretty cool,” said Senior Airman Tianne Grandison, a 71st CPTS financial budget analyst. Grandison said the squadron Airmen were interested in learning more about the history behind the Top Dollar award.

The Top Dollar competition is no longer held in the Air Force. In its prime it served as a way for finance offices across the U.S. Air Force to test Airmen's knowledge and skill sets. 

Master Sgt. Nickolas Fisher, the 71st CPTS and Wing Staff Agencies senior enlisted leader, said the skills tested were cashier, paying agent, and disbursing agent with a winner crowned at the end. 

“It’s really cool to see a photo of the people that made it happen,” said Grandison. “And knowing they didn't have much of the technology we do right now, and they accomplished something like this, is very motivating.” 

Fisher said he shared the capsule photograph to a Comptroller Facebook community page in hopes of connecting with one of the previous Airmen. “I found out about the capsule the following Monday. I thought it was a nice way to start a Monday,” said Fisher. The shared post had many positive comments and interactions in the online community.

The 1996 Air Force Financial Management “Top Dollar” award is now displayed alongside other trophies and awards earned by the present-day 71st CPTS.