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Herkloadie

Got my Wings

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Well, it's a few days late, but better late than never right?

Got those shiny things put on Sep 22 upon completion of the Basic Loadmaster course at the Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence, Lackland AFB. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't prouder than hell of those things. :) And yes, I graduated a day early in ABU's so I could chamber the next day (class grad date) and not screw up my training dates. Ended up having a week holding over at Lackland anyway. Who knew? :rolleyes:

Anyone on Facebook can add the "BLM - Basic Loadmaster" page and see pictures of many of the recent classes' graduations.

Here's a couple of mine. Let's just say Momma made sure they stuck! :D

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Congrats , I've seen you a few times in the halls there at the 344th . Get IQT done and make them permanent. Got a weeks left myself then on to the Rock.

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Congratulations!

Don't worry, if mom didn't get 'em them pinned in the right place, there will be plenty of volunteers to ensure you have "alignment marks" after they "pin" them on for you. (Can they still do that?)

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Congrats, but you know it's still along way to go, to get the star and awile longer to get the toilet seat. If I remember

I think it take 10 combat missions or 3 years to get your wings, permanently.

Rg Glenn

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Correct to a point.

Basic : Aircrew member awarded temporaly 3 level upon completion awarding courses and are permently awarded after successfully completing IQT

Senior: Completed 7 years of service and 1300 HRS or have 2,000Hrs 72 PAID months of operational flying duty and have obtained 5 skill level.

Chief: After completion of 15years of aviation service and 2300 HRS or have 3000HRS or 144 PAID months of operational flying duty and have obtained 7 skill level.

IAW AFI 11-402

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Yup, thast is how it was back in the 'Nam era,,,,,,,,,I think it took ten combat mission for permanent award, if you hadn't made the three years first. Anybodfy know how many missions it took back then to get an air medal???????????? Seemed like fightter pukes got one a week and trash haulers often flew the same mission number for days if not weeks, no matter how many sorties.. Different standards I guess......

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gizzard, I got two Air Medals for flying 40 Blind Bat missions in 1968. I also got wings but not sure how they were awarded. I was only on a flight crew for 40 missions and then back to the flightline at Naha!!

Ken

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gizzard, I got two Air Medals for flying 40 Blind Bat missions in 1968. I also got wings but not sure how they were awarded. I was only on a flight crew for 40 missions and then back to the flightline at Naha!!

Ken

Ken, you got wings because you flew ten combat missions. Actually, you were authorized to wear them when you got the loadmaster AFSC to fly as a kicker and aeronautical orders that put you on full flying status (not Hazardous Duty pay). The requirement for wings was that an airman had to be assigned to aircrew duty, which is why crew chiefs, Security Service techs, etc. weren't authorized to wear them. But if an airman was assigned to aircrew duty - which included flight engineers, loadmasters, boomers, gunners, tow reel operators, flight attendants and a couple of other career fields - he/she was authorized to wear wings as long as they were on flying status. After three years or ten combat missions they became permanent. We had some crew chiefs at Pope when I got there who wore wings but they had been on flying status as engineers or "flying" crew chiefs, which is what engineers on some airplanes were called, previously. Enlisted men and women were authorized to wear wings as soon as they recieved the aeronautical orders assigning them to flight status. This "awarding wings" is evidently a new deal that came out of the establishment of an aircrew training school at Lackland (it's at the Medina Annex.) I had never heard of it until I went to the PLA event in San Antonio a few weeks ago.

As for wings being "awarded," as I recall there was no initial award as such. I probably still have my original aeronautical orders but am too lazy to look. We just bought a set of wings at the BX and put them on. This was in 1964 and in those days we were getting credit for combat missions in a number of locales, including from Pope to the DR the following spring. After we had logged ten combat missions, a new set or orders was cut that made them permanent. I assume they did the same for three years. I was in Mother MAC passing out box lunches when I went to seven years (at least I think I was - I may have still been at Clark). I worked in awards and decs as an additional duty and we had a form for an airman to fill out and then we submitted it requesting orders for the star.

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Gizaard,

We had to fly 30 combat missions to get an Air Medal. You could fly any number of sorties a day, but it didn't matter the number of sorties. One sortie or 5 sorties in country a day was one mission.

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I recall it was 20 combat missions (O1A) per Air medal, or 35 combat support missions (O1B) per air medal, and yes a mission could mean more than one sortie.

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Thanks all! Seems the standards have changed over the years...but hey I'm just proud to have those babies on. :cool:

And no, the "alignment" marks aren't exactly kosher anymore...well for instructors anyway. Anyone else can sock you a good one. :D

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Correct to a point.

Basic : Aircrew member awarded temporaly 3 level upon completion awarding courses and are permently awarded after successfully completing IQT

IAW AFI 11-402

What paragraph are you quoting? Chapter 7 spells it out:

7.4. Permanent Award of Aircrew Member Badges to US Air Force Members. A USAF CEA, non-rated officer aircrew member, or non-CEA enlisted aircrew member may qualify for an aircrew member badge if he or she is: (a) qualified for USAF aviation service, (B) assigned an active or inactive FSC (not separated, suspended, or disqualified from aviation service) and © not considered a rated asset in the ARC. See also paragraph 7.2.

7.4.1. Permanently award the basic aircrew member badge to a CEA or other nonrated aircrew member effective the date he or she satisfies the requirement listed in Table 7.1. or meets one of the requirements in paragraphs 7.4.1.1. – 7.4.1.4. below:

7.4.1.1. Member was medically disqualified for further performance of aircrew member duty as a result of wounds received in action while in a designated combat zone and performing primary duty as an aircrew member. The effective date for award of the badge is the same as the effective date of the AO that assigned ASC 03.

7.4.1.2. Member was medically disqualified for further performance of aircrew member duty as a result of injuries received in an aircraft mishap while performing primary duty as an aircrew member. The effective date for award of the badge is the same as the effective date of the AO that assigned ASC 03.

7.4.1.3. Member participated in at least 10 combat missions as a primary aircrew member in a designated combat zone (Combat support missions do not qualify for purposes of this computation. See AFI 11-401 for explanation of missions), or…

7.4.1.4. Member was assigned to perform aircrew member duties and completed a minimum of one operational mission in space (50 miles above the earth). In addition to eligibility for permanent award of the aircrew member badge, the individual is eligible for the astronaut qualifier. Submit application for award of the astronaut qualifier (Attachment 2).

Table 7.1 refers you back to Chapter 7, but also has this blurp: 36 paid months of Operational Flying.

OP: Congrats, welcome to one of the best enlisted gigs in the AF.

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I recall it was 20 combat missions (O1A) per Air medal, or 35 combat support missions (O1B) per air medal, and yes a mission could mean more than one sortie.

They changed the requirements several times. Up until 1966 Air Medals were awarded at the rate of one for five sorties and the C-123 people and Army helicopter crews were racking them up so fast they had to get a couple of ribbons to display all of the clusters. Because of complaints from World War II vets, the requirement was changed so that credit could only be given for one fragged mission. They also came up with a point system with credit based on the type of mission and where. It stayed the same for combat sorties, but changed for combat support. Those of us who were flying over North Vietnam and Laos got different credit than those flying in South Vietnam and Laos was different from North Vietnam. Airdrop missions or other missions that were considered direct combat support were credited different than "routine" trash-hauling.

The Army got DOD to change the status of the Air Medal, which was originally considered the same as a Bronze Star, after Vietnam. They pushed it down below the Purple Heart, which until the post-Vietnam period was the lowest of all combat decorations. In fact, the Bronze Star was established to boost the morale of ground troops who were jealous of the aircrews who were getting them for flying combat missions while they were still in training. (It wasn't until late 1942 that US ground troops got into action while aircrews had been flying combat since December, 1941.)

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Since we're on the subject of Air Medals, is it true that the guys flying the UAV's over Afghanistan air getting Air Medals even though they are sitting in trailers in Nevada. I surely hope that someone was blowing smoke up my butt. That would really cheapen all of our hard-earned medals. Say it isn't so.

Don R.

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Don

Its true (or at least it was) that they were getting Air Medals, lots of bitching happened and the pilots in question ended up with aerial achievement medals but I wouldn't doubt that they went back up to air medals for these klowns, its a really pathetic world we live in today - so sad.

Watched one crash on landing in Pakistan back in 02, asked the guys if we should run over to the booth and pull the "pilot" out and light him on fire :)

Hey there GreatDesires, outstanding on getting your wings, congrats and welcome to the club

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Gizaard,

We had to fly 30 combat missions to get an Air Medal. You could fly any number of sorties a day, but it didn't matter the number of sorties. One sortie or 5 sorties in country a day was one mission.

The flare mission was different. Each mission was one sortie. They were also out-of-country missions and the criteria was different than it was for trash-hauling missions in-country. The requirements also changed from 25 sorties to 25 fragged missions, then it was raised to 30. Which reminds me of something that deserves its own thread.

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