60 Reasons Airmen Say Their Service is the Best
Readers of Air Force Times
Posted : Thursday Sep 13, 2007 12:47:50 EDT
On the 60th anniversary of the Air Force, we asked readers to reflect a bit on life in the military and what makes the Air Force better than its sister services. We got lots of responses, some serious, some silly, some funny and some sarcastic, and some that were simply poignant. Here’s what you said.
1 The Air Force has always tried to take care of its people, no matter how austere the environment.The USAF recognizes that quality of life is a big factor in retention, so it’s always gone the extra mile when it comes to facilities.
2 Almost all Air Force jobs will transfer to the civilian sector, and they give you a Community College of the Air Force degree — nationally accredited — for doing your job and taking a few classes. How can you beat that?
3 The uniform brings out the blue in my eyes.
4The other services are bogged down with such outdated concepts as “traditions” and “identities.” As the newest service, we in the Air Force aren’t constrained by such trivialities.
5Walking to the Air Force Academy Chapel on a bright, cold fall morning.
6The golf courses are better.
7 You only have to go to dirty places like Iraq or Afghanistan for four or six months at a time. (Special operations guys and combat controllers don’t count, but then they are studs).
8 The new uniforms are far more snappy than the shapeless ones the Army and Marine people have to wear.
9 There is much less of the military stuff the other guys put up with.
10 We have a higher standard of living than some people who have been to college.
11Got killer language training at the Defense Language Institute — without doing 0530 PT, weeds ’n’ seeds and three-times-daily formations.
12 Better hooches (deployed living quarters).
13Less “rank conscious.” O-6s can talk to E-2s, something you don’t typically see in other services.
14 Much easier to become a member of the mile high club!
15 The Air Force treats dependents better, as well. Of course, that means that the spouses aren’t as close a group as, say, the Army spouses, but still. … If I’m away, I’m comforted by the fact that my hubby can get the help he needs from someone who knows exactly what he should do in any given circumstance and who to talk to for the correct information.
16 The SR-71 Blackbird — come on, how cool is that?
17 The hours are better.
18 Oh the choices we make when we’re young and dumb. The Air Force recruiter tried so hard to get me to enlist, as did my uncle (prior Air Force). Nope, I wanted to be a badass, so of course I joined the Marines. Oh if I could do it over again!
19 Quality of life … plain and simple.
20 We don’t dine in stinky old chow halls. No sirree, Bob, we have dining facilities!
21 If we don’t like something about the uniform, we just tough it out until the chief of staff retires and the new one changes the whole thing.
22We don’t have to go to personnel to have them mess up our service records. With vMPF, we can mess them up for ourselves online!
23 The Air Force saved my son’s life. At age 3, he was
diagnosed with leukemia while we were stationed in Japan. He was diagnosed as high-risk and losing time fast. He’d be dead in a few days if we didn’t get treatment. Within 12 hours, we had a medevac crew in from Okinawa to take us to Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, where he could get his treatment. The organization, logistics and humanitarianism we saw across the board, from airmen to the colonels, was awe-inspiring. I felt overwhelmed with pride to be associated with such an amazing unit and the United States Air Force. Two years later, my son is still undergoing chemotherapy and still has another year to go. He’s doing great! We haven’t seen a medical bill yet and our family has been more than taken care of by our fellow airmen. I owe the Air Force everything. To me, there’s no doubt, the Air Force is the best!
24 The F-22 — eat that, naval aviators!
25 All I can say is, next time an F-15 rolls in with an Small Diameter Bomb to save your butt, you will be grateful for the air cover and the money spent on development!
26 More skilled. I’ll put my senior airman against your specialist any day!
27 The Air Force is smarter … 99 percent of all applicants are turned away to other services. This is why we listen to what our young folks have to say. They are the future force!
28 Filling Army positions that would go unfilled. … How many Air Force members are filling Army positions in the area of responsibility and doing a damn fine job?
29 As my recruiter once said, “Females get to be females.”
30One word: Opportunities.
31 I was served lobster while on kitchen patrol in basic training. How can you beat that? I love telling that story to all of my Marine Corps and Army friends. It drives them nuts.
32 Formation? Three times a day? Air Force personnel are professional airmen and don’t need baby-sitting. Good senior noncommissioned officers should know where and what their folks are doing at all times, not just three times a day!
33 I think the Air Force is the best ’cause when my husband deploys, I don’t have to worry about uniforms showing up at my door and giving me the “I’m sorry, ma’am” speech. Sure, I still worry about him. And I wish that I could talk to him more, but at least I know he is safe when he goes.
34 Next week, I will be singing the national anthem at our base’s 60th Anniversary Air Force Ball. Allowing a senior airman to perform at such a high profile event … reason enough for me.
35 Airmen are the brains of the operation. They are also the most professional and considerate of the military.
36 Better chow.
37 I’m an E-4. I’ve been in for almost four years. I make almost double what everyone else my rank and time in service makes and get paid to travel the world, because I’m a flier.
38 In the Air Force, “field conditions” means the hotel’s TV doesn’t have a remote!
39 Frequent flier miles.
40 There are no warrant officer ranks, so it’s less confusing.
41 The faces of flood refugees in Indonesia, famine victims in Africa or earthquake victims in Iran when a C-17 loaded with food, clothing and shelter is the first to arrive on the scene.
42 We get punched in the arm for being promoted, even though technically that’s considered hazing.
43 We can wipe out entire nations with our kind of power (but of course we can’t and won’t do that). And we can do this without having to leave home.
44 Senior airmen are not NCOs, which helps mature them when they do become staff sergeants.
45 Got me my master’s degree.
46 Getting to say stuff like “sitting on ours, saving yours.”
47 Hallball, and more per-capita “Halo” players.
48 Being able to make fun of ourselves.
49 We have dorms, not barracks.
50 We do things smarter. Why send ships and thousands of people to a combat zone when you can do the same job by pushing a button in the heart of America? We can send a plane or missile from the continental U.S. to bomb any target around the world without a combat crew touching ground in another country. Pilots are flying unmanned aerial vehicles in Iraq with Hellfire missiles on them from Nevada. It doesn’t get any better than that! Global reach, baby: anytime, anywhere and you can tell the wife we’ll be home for dinner.
51 Jobs that are video games. … Video games that are jobs.
52 Fewer uniforms to maintain — even the honor guard one is based off the full service blues.
53 The Air Force rocks! They take better care of their people. I have been in the Army and now the Air Force. The Air Force is the best by far. Glad I made the switch before it was too late.
54 “In the rear, with the gear.”
55 I had three officers drive me to work every day, and all I did was sit around and pass gas (from a KC-135A/KC-10 boom operator).
56 Our official song is about being shot down in flames.
57 Air conditioners and single occupancy quarters.
58 Many years ago, I worked at the Treasure Island Naval Base in San Francisco. When I was introduced to the staff, I was asked by a woman, a retired Navy chief herself, “Is your husband a chief?” I said, “No, he retired from the Air Force.” To which she replied, “Ah yes, the premier service in the armed forces!” I agreed with her.
59We provide “hops” on Air Force cargo jets for all service members (and their families), if there’s room available. This saves hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for overseas trips for military families.
60 The eloquence of the Air Force Memorial — especially at night.