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Posted: 6/27/2003 9:17:27 PM EDT
The Evolution of an Airman Civilian Think you're tough stuff because you are joining the Air Force and all the girls will dig you once you learn how to fly a plane in basic training. Airman Basic You're shaved bald, given a uniform that is two sizes too big, and have developed a nervous tic from some T.I. screaming at you all day. You don't think about the girls at home, but you think that female airman at the snack bar at the Lackland Chapparell is checking you out. You push up your government-issue glasses and work up the nerve to ask her to dance. You don't want to learn how to fly a plane. You want to fly on a plane home. Airman You've graduated basic training AND tech school and you are proud to be in the military. You think all the chicks dig you AND your one stripe while you are home on leave. You call everyone, "sir," including veterans, your mother, and that slightly-masculine looking mail lady. You spend an hour putting your uniform together at night, using a ruler and level to make sure your one ribbon signifying basic training graduation is centered perfectly on your uniform, as if the uniform itself didn't already signify your graduation from basic training. You obsessively check your name tag in the mirror because when you breathe in a little too much it looks slightly uneven. You spend your entire pay on dry cleaning with extra heavy starch and go through a can of Windex and furniture polish each week on your corofram shoes. Damn, you look sharp. Airman 1st Class You are a mentor to all those younger troops, and feel it is your duty to instill pride as you strive to achieve status as senior airman. You now call your mother, "mom," you make fun of the slightly masculine mail lady behind her back and call every enlisted person, with the exception of chief master sergeants, by their first name. Anyone named Jim is an automatic, "Jimbo." You've been able to stretch the Windex and furniture polish to last for an entire month, though you haven't used it in your dorm room because why clean your room? It's not like there are any inspections or anything. Senior Airman Twelve months after putting on this stripe you think everyone should give you more respect, because had you been in the service 13 years earlier, you'd be a buck sergeant by now. You've learned that laying a towel on the floor is not a good way to iron your shirt, so you buy an ironing board on you AAFES DPP/Star card, and you think it's a good deal because you only have to pay $3 a month on it for the next five years - just 30 years less than it will take you to pay off the Hyundai you bought from the unscrupulous car dealer outside the base when you were a one-striped airman trying to impress the girls with your stripe AND new car. This makes no difference because you sold the car for $1,000 before you PCS'd to Korea two years earlier, and you haven't seen it since. Staff Sergeant You realize you need to set an example, so you take your uniforms to the cleaners once every couple of weeks, then iron it the rest of the time until it no longer maintains a natural crease. You can't remember which pants material is authorized because it has changed so often so you just wear anything blue in your closet and hope no one notices. No one does notice because they are equally as confused, except maybe the new Airman in your office Technical Sergeant You really should clean off that coffee stain you spilled on your shirt earlier in the day, but it can wait until you e-mail all your buddies from your previous six assignments. Those pants are a little snug. Better cut down to only one box of Girl Scout cookies a night. You grumble with other NCOs about all these uppity Airmen First Class walking around calling everybody, "Jimbo." Your can of Windex and furniture polish lasts a good year unless the kids are spraying it around the house to make it smell lemony. Master Sergeant Thank goodness you can wear shoulder boards now. No one notices you forgot how to crease your sleeves and you're tired of paying the AAFES dry cleaner to do it because it always comes back with double creases, and who needs that headache? Bitter that your colleagues in the other services make E-7 within six months of graduating basic training, you obsessively go over how many days you have until retirement, making sure your figures haven't changed much since you first start calculating that as a Technical Sergeant. Good thing AAFES makes those uniform belts with the stretchy material. Senior Master Sergeant You spend your latest pay raise to pay off the Hyundai a couple years ahead of schedule AND to buy some new uniforms, but refuse to go up in size as a matter of pride. You take the shirt out of its plastic wrap, give it a couple good shakes and are impressed with the fact that it sort of looks like a couple sharp creases from a distance. Chief Master Sergeant You walk around all day because it looks good for a Chief to mingle, and it might help you to pass the yearly bike test. You tend to wear BDUs more often these days. You are a warrior, after all, and they do have a slimming effect. As a bonus, you can't even detect the coffee stains. You put off those retirement plans because suddenly you get more respect than a four-star general, and you figure this gig ain't so bad after all. You go through a can of furniture polish each week shining all the wooden busts of Indian chief heads that you have decorating your office and house.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 4:26:31 AM EDT
Obviously written by somebody who has been there! My last couple of years I realized that "BDU" stands for Body Disguising Uniform! On the topic of uniforms, a couple of years ago I was in the UK working with the RAF. Some big Air Marshal Space Captain Chief Muckitymuck was visiting the base for an inspection and the uniform of the day was the Class A with jacket & necktie. Something seemed strange about the necktie one of these blokes was wearing. It was darker than it should be, and it was tucked down the front of his pants. I asked him what the deal was and he explained that he couldn't find his tie that morning so he grabbed a fabric belt off one of his wife's dresses! I made him an honorary Crew Chief at that point. Have you ever seen somebody panic because they have to wear their blues the next day and the stripes on their jacket are two promotions behind?! [rofl]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 3:45:03 PM EDT
Damn it man, that's not funny. I just made E-7 and had to get another size larger uniform. I'm jogging every damn day to no avail and I do hate it when airman call me "Jimbo".
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:48:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By lonegunman: Damn it man, that's not funny. I do hate it when airman call me "Jimbo".
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Is that Jimbo, or Jumbo?
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:54:17 PM EDT
Their's always that one guy that picks on a fellow because he gains a few pounds. [:)]
Link Posted: 7/4/2003 7:44:32 AM EDT
I struggled with my weight my last few years. The "fat neck rule" helped. Where else but the USAF could you be overweight and underfat. [rofl]
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