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Different sides of service

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Alan Ortega
  • 90th Contracting Squadron
Furloughs, continuing resolution, the debt ceiling and promises of a Department of Defense budget are all issues that can chip away at the careers and sense of commitment we have established while serving our nation. Amidst the turmoil we must remember that service was our choice, voluntary and distinct from other careers. Regardless of the uniform we may wear to work every day, the concept remains the same: we are all here to serve our country. John Hoffmeister, a civil servant from the 90th Contracting Squadron, displays his vision for service even though his battle dress uniforms are no longer part of his weekly wardrobe:

"While all civilian employees applied for their current positions in much the same way all individuals go out into the workforce, we should always keep in mind our jobs are classified as civil service. We work for our government. We work for the American people. We work toward a national mission. While we are no different than the commercial sector in the fact we worry about job security, promotions, raises, and how to get along with the boss, we must remember our mission affects our lives, and the lives of every American.

"Our mission cannot afford people with an 'attitude,' or the 'eye for an eye' mentality that reflects through quality of work when poor political decisions are made. Our mission matters. While a civilians in the private sector may take pride in the fact they added another billion dollars to a corporation's coffers, many won't have the satisfaction that comes with leaving work knowing they contributed to a mission that keeps our country free, our service members protected, and gives the warfighters the support they need to do their jobs.

"We have a civilian job, but remember our job is civil service with an emphasis on 'service.' We must think of it as more than just a job with a paycheck. We must think of it as a calling to serve our nation; a top priority."

As Hoffmeister mentioned, we are here to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and we do so in various professional capacities. As furloughs have demonstrated in the past weeks, our Air Force team does not operate solely with active duty military.

We accomplish our many missions through a potent mix of contractors, civilians and uniformed service members. Although it may appear at times that the workload is displaced, expectations differ, or that some are given more care than others, rest assured that each group at F.E. Warren has their own unique pressures.

Regardless of the capacity in which you serve, remember we are all servants to our nation. As we face uncertainty during our crossing into the new fiscal year, toss your worries aside for a moment and take pride in the fact that you volunteered for a calling that is unlike any other. You and your families have sacrificed many things to serve this nation, and have distinguished yourselves from the remaining population accordingly. Despite changing administrations, policies, budgets and job titles, your service helps keep this country free.