F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Showing pride while staying humble can sometimes feel like a balancing act. There are many different ways to communicate pride, such as wearing it on your sleeve.
First Lt. Raun Carnley, 320th missile squadron missile combat crew commander, is experiencing his first encounter with the ICBM mission and has come to love the community and his profession.
When 20th Air Force decided to create a new alert milestone patch for missileers as a way to highlight Airmen committed to mission accomplishment. Carnley readily submitted a design.
Capt. Julio Perez, 20th AF commander’s action group deputy director, said the idea for the patches came from a Force Improvement Program recommendation in 2014 and it was important for the design to come from the crewmembers, the ones doing the mission.
Carnley’s design was just what 20th AF was looking for.
“The submissions were all unique, clever, and in certain examples, even humorous; however one patch stood out among the rest,” Perez said. “Lt. Carnley's concept embraced the heritage associated with 20th AF and ultimately created a patch we felt all crewmembers would take pride in wearing.”
As a missile combat crew commander who is responsible for mission planning, decision making and problem solving, Carnley understands the value in assessing processes, policies and projects that enhance F.E. Warren Air Force Base’s mission and people.
Tapping into his pride and love of the ICBM mission, Carnley used his personal skills to produce a design he hopes will have a great impact on those wearing it.
“It goes back to instilling that sense of pride in the career field. This was another opportunity to recognize the folks who have put in the time and effort to fulfill our mission,” the Utah native said.
Alerts, or “pulling” alert are a testament to a missileer’s skill and experience. Crews go out on alert for 24 hours and are responsible for 10 ICBM launch facilities. Alerts are key to career progression. For example, a missileer must have at least 100 alerts before they are given crew commander responsibilities.
Thanks to Carnley, missileers now have a way to show their expertise and pride to the ICBM community and those who contribute to mission success.
Many roles play a part in an alert being effectively accomplished. For instance, security forces Airmen provide security and enable missileers to focus on the task at hand; missile maintainers upkeep the ICBM capability and equipment quality; missile chefs provide sustenance to ensure missileers and defenders are mentally prepared and poised to execute the mission; and missile facility managers diligently work to keep the site operational. Carnley stated that the professional skills of these Airmen are included in the representation of the alert milestone patch.
“Alerts represent, not only our time in the field, but also all of the hours and efforts of those who support us,” Carnley said.
For future endeavors, Carnley is working on designing a coin for the chefs that support the Airmen at missile alert facilities. He has designed items for various organizations believing these symbolic keepsakes stimulate better attitudes, morale and commitment to the mission.
Carnley stated the selection of his design is humbling and a bit overwhelming since it will be a part of Air Force history. However, he welcomes this sentiment knowing that the patches are a visible symbol of the importance of the ICBM capability and the Airmen who carry out the mission safely, securely and effectively.
“It’s important to remember the mission in terms of what we do and who we are,” Carnley said. “Acknowledging that it is not just us, it’s really the entire Air Force and everyone in the ICBM mission supporting each other.”