A former enlisted man, a friend of mine, was present when I gave a presentation at an organization to which I belong. This talk was about some of the experiences I had while flying combat in fighter aircraft.
This friend complimented me for my service and started telling me of his own service in the USAF. His opening statement was, ”I was just a Supply Sergeant.”
I stopped him and informed him that the word ”just” was not and is not a definition of his position. His job was so important that his dedication was necessary for me and other pilots to accomplish our mission.
Without the supplies, without the fuel truck driver, without the communications specialist, without the sheet metal man to repair damage, without the engine specialists to do their jobs, without that crew chief who owned the airplane when it was on the ground, and I who owned the bird once I started the engine for flight, I could never have accomplished a single mission.
These persons, including cooks, dishwashers, administration, meteorologists, security police and myriad others were all important so I could accomplish my mission.
When describing their jobs to me, it is demeaning to think that they were any less important than I while preparing to fly a combat mission. The support personnel are so very important in all our work - civilian or military - and we must remember that they facilitate our accomplishments.