|Schutzengel by Bernhard Plockhorst (Public Domain)|
Juvat is married to a retired Air Force personnel officer.
Oh sh!t, oh dear.
I must now make penance for my sins and tell you a tale of the time when the personnel system worked in my favor. It did happen from time to time. (In my case, more often than not.)
So there I was...*
I had been on Okinawa for nearly a year and a half and was fast approaching assignment time. Far off in
Since coming to Kadena I had been to Korea a number of times for temporary duty. I had established a superb working relationship with my counterparts at Kunsan, I liked them. They liked me.
I had also met the love of my life. Literally. I had been hit by "The Thunderbolt."
“You can't hide the thunderbolt. When it hits you, everybody can see it. Christ, man, don't be ashamed of it, some men pray for the thunderbolt. You're a very lucky fellow. - Calo” ― Mario Puzo, The Godfather (When Michael Corleone first saw Apollonia Vitelli)
Yes, I had met the future Missus Herself and was in love. Madly, passionately in love. There was no way in Hell I would leave Asia without her.
My Chief (CMSgt Colonna, best chief ever) told me to file a dream sheet (we all know how well that had worked in '75). But that's how the system worked, so I did.
My assignment came in. Florida. Hhmm, last I checked, that was not in Korea.
"Oh Chief, Chief, my Chief. Pray tell, what should I do?"
"Extend." he said.
So I filed the paperwork to stay on Okinawa for another six months.
Time passed. I traveled to Korea more often than before. (I wonder why?)
My assignment came in. Florida.
So yes, six more months on the Rock (as we called it). Near the end of that time, the Chief mentioned that a buddy of his from PACAF** would be on base the next day. Seems this buddy of his was the reigning Chief at PACAF Manning. As the Chief put it, "If PACAF wants you, Randolph can go spit. You stay in PACAF."
So the next day, when the PACAF Manning Chief and his boss were on base, I called the number my Chief had given me.
His buddy, the other Chief, wasn't in, as the captain (the Chief's boss) who answered the phone told me. The good captain (a personnel guy mind you) asked me what I wanted, he'd pass it on to the Chief.
So I told him of my desire to go to Korea. A remote assignment. A place few wanted to go, yet I was desperate to get there. (As a matter of fact, I was now married to The Missus Herself and we'd set up shop, so to speak, in Korea already. All I needed was an assignment.)
The captain then said, "Well Hell airman. I can take care of that."
So after informing him of all my necessaries (Social Security number, name, rank, etc), the good captain said, "Expect the assignment in one to two weeks."
I stammered out, "So, you will put my request in to Randolph and then they'll let me know?"
"Hell no son. You're a PACAF asset. I say you stay in PACAF, you stay in PACAF. I'm the bull goose loony in charge back there at Hickam. You will have your assignment to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, in your orderly room in one to two weeks. Guaranteed."
Two weeks later, I had orders to Korea. Within a month, I was in Korea. With my sweetie in our little home. Most pleased I was.
From that day forth, I don't think I ever got a bad assignment.
In fact, when we all left Korea (as they were replacing the F-4D with the F-16), all the other guys in my shop got MacDill, in Florida.
I got Lowry. In Denver. Which was perhaps the most coveted assignment in the WCS career field.
So Mrs Juvat (and any other personnel wienies, er, I mean specialists, out there who may have taken offense at yesterday's post), my apologies for insinuating that all personnel types were the north end of a southbound horse. That was most assuredly not the case.
I am guilty of hyperbole, nothing more, nothing less.
But many (not all mind you) of the enlisted clan within the personnel specialty were of questionable parentage. Now I'm not saying that their mothers were hamsters and their fathers smelled of elderberries, but...
Essayons avec un grand blaireau de bois...
I had nothing but love for the commissioned ranks in the personnel field. And that's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. More or less.
One might even assume that after a certain period in my career, I may have had a guardian angel somewhere high up in the personnel ranks.
Who's to say?
So Juvat, am I safe?
** PACAF = Pacific Air Forces