Commendation - Good Conduct - National Defense Service - Korea Defense Service
*The brown "blobs" covering several medals are Oak Leaf Clusters. They denote a repeat of the action that earned the award.
Basic Training, Lackland AFB, TX Mar to May 1983
Assigned to 3709 Basic Military Training Squadron. I survived. Got my Basic Training Medal there.
Wideband Radio Maintenance Training, Keesler AFB, MS May 1983 - Dec 1983
Assigned to 3413th Student Squadron. I graduated Technical Training with honors. Learned electronics from nothing to being a well-qualified RF technician.
-Earned Marksmanship ribbon.
2146th Communications Group, Osan AB, Republic of Korea Dec 1983 to Dec 1984
My first "real" duty station. I was remote...no family allowed. It was tough after having only been married 8 months prior. My son was born while I was here. He was 2 months old when I met him.
I was assigned to three duties:
-maintain a radio link to a remote bombing range about 20 miles away
-maintain teletype multiplexers to support US Army operations in ROK - TH-22
-maintain the Intrusion Detection systems for the base's weapons storage - ID-1903
-Awarded Joint Service Medal for my work in exercise "Team Spirit"
1960th Communications Squadron, Kirtland AFB, NM Dec 1984 to Mar 1988
This is where my career truly developed. I was assigned to maintain the Intrusion Detection Systems at the Manzano Weapons Storage facility. I moved from Airman First Class (E-3) to Staff Sergeant (E-5) in about 3 years. I was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and a Commendation Medal (among numerous other local awards).
-Earned my Associate of Science in Electronics
-Earned my Certification in Two-Way Radio from ETA,I: CMNNM23.
-Earned my Novice Amateur Radio License here.
-Earned Air Force Association "Team of the Year" award...Named one of the US Air Force's top Wideband Radio Maintenance Technicians in 1986. Given award in Washington, DC in 1987.
Thanks to the weekly equipment sales at Sandia National Labs, I obtained a ton of parts that I used to learn electronics thoroughly. I spent all of my spare time building equipment.
1982 Communications Squadron, Kunsan AFB, Republic of Korea Mar 1988 to Mar 1989
Dual-Duty: Land Mobile Radio manager for the first 6 months, then Intrusion Detection Systems Maintenance Technician for the remainder. Awarded Achievement medal. Kunsan was a small, dirty extremely remote base...very little fun to be had there, but extraordinary military camaraderie!
I attended training in Seoul during the 1988 summer Olympics. Got lost and ended up driving on a bicycle race course during an Olympic race. Driving in Seoul in the '80s was a treat!
50th Maintenance Squadron, Falcon AFB, CO Mar 1989 to Dec 1992
My final duty station. Falcon AFB was nearly brand new when I arrived. It was crawling with civilians and officers. The base's mission was flying the various military satellites, hence the officers. I was specifically assigned to maintain the prototype security system.
Sadly, I found this "new" military to be hard to work with. The discipline and military decorum I had previously encountered overseas was not present here. To most of the others on this base, it was simply a 9 to 5 job. To me It wasn't the Air Force, it was simply a bunch of military contractors.
Colorado Springs was the most beautiful assignment I ever had in the military. I cried when I left. We had roots there that were tough to disrupt. At dawn on an icy winter morning, I actually saw the "Purple Mountain's Majesty" on Pike's Peak in the distance. Truly a sight to behold!
When President Clinton was elected, I saw the writing on the wall and volunteered to separate; I had nearly 10 years in at that time, and I didn't like what I was seeing in the "modern" Air Force. It seemed better to jump when I did.
-Earned my FCC General-Class Radiotelephone Operator's License#: PG-15-17913
The one constant throughout my military career was the people. The people with which I worked and lived were as close to family as I had at that time. The camaraderie and friendships we had with these people was incredibly deep; we spent every waking moment together and formed very strong bonds.