SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse
Don't be a fool and die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for his.
-- General George S. Patton

December 14, 2004

Ten Year Anniversary

Emblem Air Force.gif

Well, today is the big day. On this day in 1994 I was sworn in to the United States Air Force as an Airman Basic (E-1). I started basic training yesterday or so it seems. I can't believe that I have been in the service for 10 years. It barely seems possible that it has been 10 years since I sewed on my first stripe.

I have to admit though, when I look back it has been one hell of an experience. Besides training me in Law Enforcement and Security as a Security Policeman the AF has afforded me the opportunity to lateral train into Combat Arms, my present job.

I have been to more countries than I ever could have imagined as a kid. I have been to England, Italy, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Cuba, and have made numerous pit stops in other locations throughout Africa. I also lived in Japan for two years.

I spent my first five years working in Law Enforcement and Security (Primarily in Law Enforcement). I have spent the last five years working in Combat Arms. My present duties range from teaching small arms marksmanship to performing maintenance and modification of AF small arms.

I am or have been certified on a nearly endless list of weapons:

The M-16, M-16A1, M-16A2, M4 Carbine, M-60 Machine Gun, M-249 Squad Automatic Rifle, M-240 Medium Machine Gun, M870 Shotgun, M12 Shotgun, M500 Shotgun, UZI, MP5, M9 (Beretta 9mm), M11 (Sig Sauer 9mm), M203 Grenade Launcher, LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) Rocket, M2 (Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun), M29A1 (81mm Mortar), Claymore Mine, Hand Grenades (All types from high explosive to smokes and simulators).

In addition to being certified to carry these, I can certify others. I am also certified to perform all maintenance (gunsmithing) functions.

I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything else in the world. While from time to time I share experiences and I am sure that I will share my experiences from my next temporary duty or deployed location there are other memories that are mine and mine alone and yet other memories I just don't care to talk about.

Well, as of today I am 1/3 of the way through my career. That's right, I have every intention of staying in as long as the AF will have me which could be as long as 30 years. My goal is to one-day reach the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). While only a small percentage of the enlisted structure make it to this level, I believe that I will one day be ready for the level of responsibility of a Chief.

I remember the day I left home for basic training. We were driving to the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) and my Father (Sitting in the back seat) told me how proud he was of my desire to serve our nation and how proud he would be to see me in the uniform he wore just 20 years before. He told me that he would be proud no matter what came of my AF career as long as I gave it my best.

Well I did, I have, and I will continue to do so as long as I can. When I received Honor Graduate in Basic Training, I said it was for my Dad. When I received Distinguished Honor Grad at the Police Academy, it was for my Dad. When I received Honor Grad at Air Base Defense School, it was for my Dad. Four years later when I re-trained into Combat Arms and once again received Honor Graduate, I said it was for my Dad.

When I said it is for my Father, I meant that in honor to the upbringing I received. It was my Father that impacted my life most in molding me into the Father, Son and Airman that I am today. We continue to talk almost daily and whether he realizes it or not he continues to guide me.

I am sure there are times that he thinks he was too hard on me, or perhaps he wasn't or couldn't do enough for me, but I say he couldn't have done it any better. If it weren't for the values I learned as a child and the respect for our country and our way of life that I learned I wouldn't still be in the AF today.

So, Dad (Sgt/E-4, USAF) I guess you are one of the key people that I should thank for the life I am so grateful to have and the love of the Air Force and the United States that guides me in my life.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my career and whom will continue to do so. Thank you to everyone who reads my ramblings and motivates me to continue to share my thoughts on everything imaginable.

14 December 2004. 10 Years United States Air Force

SSgt SlagleRock Out!

Posted by SlagleRock at December 14, 2004 10:00 PM

Congratulations and best wishes for your continued successes.

Posted by: Jack at December 14, 2004 11:35 PM

Good for you Fokker. Just think of how lucky you have been to have had the privelage to serve your country for as long as you have. I know serving in AF Blue for 12 years (and counting) has been and will continue to be something that I will always be proud to say that I have done in my life. One more thing Wob: EADYBOS

Posted by: Bill at December 14, 2004 11:48 PM

Now I'm glad we didn't leave you over at PSAB like Renee and I had planned to! Best of wishes on another ten years....I'll give you good luck on the last ten if I still out rank you.

Posted by: Thompson at December 15, 2004 04:18 AM

Congratulations R.! Everyone in the family is so proud of you.

I believe you'll make E-9. If fact I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force some day. And your Dad and I will be there to watch them swear you in, if we can live that long. (hey, at our age, ten years is a long time! lol)

In the meantime, continue doing as you have always done, the best job you are capable of doing. Keep your eyes and ears open,and your head down. Shoot straight and true. Get the bastards before they get you.

Uncle "Burp"

Posted by: delftsman3 at December 15, 2004 05:06 AM

Thanks For your service Slagle, Glad you are on our side..I am sure with your winning attitude you will make E-9 congrats and Thanks Again!

Posted by: Lc NeilV at December 15, 2004 05:46 AM

Congratulations on 10 years of service Rob. It's my honour to know you through the blogosphere, and I thankyou for all the support and conversation you've given me. I wish you every success for your future in the Air Force and wherever else life may take you. Thanks for your service to the greatest nation on Earth, and keep aiming for the E-9!

Posted by: Brit_Student at December 15, 2004 01:55 PM

Congratulations! My husband will celebrate his 10th this coming July. Best of luck in reaching E9!

Posted by: Amy at December 15, 2004 06:35 PM

Reading this post brought back a flood of great memories. I spent 13 years in the AF, was Dorm Chief in Basic, Honor flight, John Levitow…all that. Spent 6 years as an SP augmentee in Okinawa Japan. I’ll never forget standing on a gate for 14 hours waving in cars during an exercise. At the end of the day my arms were so sore I could hardly move them. I got my marksmanship ribbon because of the excellent training I received from a man such as you. I was a telephone installer, Outside Plant, I spent a lot of time in SP squadrons. I even had the thrill of getting jacked up in a WSA enclosure because this stupid LT. forgot to pre-announce us!! It was a blast getting pressed up against a freezing water buffalo (it was about 20 degrees at the time) and getting a VERY thorough back scratching (and more)!! I loved the Air force, still do. The only reason I left was to pursue a career in Information Technology, which was made possible by my AF experience and the opportunities it provided. I think about the experiences I had every day…and I’ve been out since 98. Although I’ve been successful (I’m now an IT consultant for Siemens) I still miss the AirForce and wish circumstances had been different so that I could still be there. I miss hopping flights, the smell of jet fuel, the Exchange, the shopette, PT, exercises, pressing my stripes, shining my boots with a cotton ball, and most of all, I miss my friends and co-workers. (tears, hold on….ok) I was able to get my BS degree because of the AirForce. I could go on and on. I’d love to know more about what you did in Japan…I enlisted in Yokota, I grew up in Japan as a dependent. (Dad was with NIS, equivalent of the OSI for the Navy) If you have a chance to go to Okinawa, do it. It was the best duty I had. Caving, diving, fishing, sailing, you name it.

Need to sign off, but will bookmark your site. Bust ass on your WAPS tests and keep doing what your doing with the training, I’m sure you’ll hit E-9. I knew a guy who did it in 14 years!! Thanks for the post, keep up the good work.

Posted by: Mongrul at December 15, 2004 07:54 PM

Congratulations, sir! May the next 20 years of your service be as rewarding as the last 10 have been.

Posted by: Cromagnon at December 16, 2004 10:09 AM

Congratulations. Being a cop for 10 years is a major milestone. My husband was a brother in arms for 20 years, retiring in November 02. He loved the job and misses it still. I spent 5.5 years supporting SF over in England. Some of the best and worst duty I've ever done. I still miss it. Good luck in the future and keep on blogging. Your site is awesome. God Bless America, our troops, and Mr. Bush.

Posted by: Theresa, MSgt, USAF at December 16, 2004 10:50 AM

I could never put into words how what you have written makes me feel.So many different emotions.Don't give me too much credit.I may have laid the foundation but you built on it.

What you do daily,along with hundreds of thousands of others,can not be appreciated enough.I too,loved the Air Force and perhaps in a different time I would have made it a career.I still consider myself a part of the Air Force family.

I am honored that all you have accomplished was for me.Although,I've always said, that I would never let myself regret my decision to discharge,I have often wondered what if.Now,I feel as if I am living the what ifs through you.For that I thank you.

I have never told you how many times I've missed you throughout the years but I really do.I guess I never wanted to tell you because I never wanted to distract you from your duties.

I just want you to know that I fully support you in your career.No matter what rank you attain,I will always know that you are the very best that the Air Force has to offer.You sure as Hell can't beat that.The best of the best!

As always you have my love,my faith and my admiration.

May God keep you from harms way.Love always,Dad

Posted by: PappaSlagle at December 16, 2004 05:32 PM

To one AWESOME big bro...CONGRATS...on all of the hardworking years and making me one very proud little sister!!!

Posted by: Karebare at December 23, 2004 12:38 PM

Very nice comments you guys have here, congratulations and thanks to allowing my post...

Posted by: Phendimetrazine at April 15, 2005 02:10 PM
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