Dirty Jobs, CATM edition

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristine Legate
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

It’s easy to forget everyone’s impact in the big Air Force mission of “Fly, fight and win, airpower anytime, anywhere”, especially while working in a back shop on the flightline, or in an office where they sit behind a computer and answer phones all day. Despite how some may feel about their specific duties in the USAF, everything done is a contribution to the mission, no matter how minuscule it may feel in the moment.

To battle this, DM’s 5/6 Council created a program for Airmen to shadow other Airmen in different Air Force specialty codes to give them the opportunity to have a better understanding of how everyone contributes to the mission.

The 355th Security Forces Squadron combat arms training and maintenance team were the first to open their doors to Airmen selected to take part in the program for its first iteration.

“It can be easy to assume that some jobs are basic and consist of mundane tasks,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Julius Caesar Piga, 355th SFS CATM instructor and 5/6 Council president. “No one really gets the chance to see behind the scenes and that is where a lot of the impact transpires.”

Airman 1st Class Michah Dunn, 355th Communications Squadron cyber network operations technician, and Senior Airman Ryan Miller, 355th Equipment Maintenance aircraft structural maintenance metals technician, are the first two Airmen to take part in this program.

They received a tour of the CATM workspace from its range, to their armory and even filing systems, while also getting hands on experience with small arms weapons and range set up prior to a qualification course taking place.

“This has been a great opportunity to see the Air Force and it’s different jobs from another perspective,” said Dunn. “There’s so much more to Security Forces than handling firearms and scanning ID cards at the gate.”

Piga’s hope is that this program continues on and that more people get the chance to experience other AFSCs.

“Some people have fallen into the trap of assuming other career fields don’t contribute to the mission equally," Piga said. "What I am hoping to show with this initiative is that there is a whole lot more than what meets the eye."

A program like this provides a unique connection and perspective of how all career fields’ individual missions blend together to support the overall Air Force mission, not only helping Airmen realize their potential, but also providing a sense of understanding and pride in the day-to-day work that they accomplish.