Renaissance Airmen: 512th MAS Airmen jacks of all trades

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's note: Reservists of the 512th Memorial Affairs Squadron are well-versed in all parts of the services career field while making top-notch customer service a priority. Follow along as this series showcases the spectrum of duties performed by members of the 512th MAS. This article on the services career field is part one of a four-part series.)

The term "Renaissance man" is used to describe a person who excels in a wide variety of subjects and fields. It embodies the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible.

The services career field is similar to the Renaissance in the aspect they are jacks of all trades in the realms of food service, lodging and fitness.

The common thread of these functional areas is to provide these mission-essential necessities to military and civilian personnel, family members and retirees with first-rate customer "service." Reservists from the 512th Memorial Affairs Squadron are here to provide just that.

"Services is a 'people' career field," said Maj. Beth Bruker-Walos, 512th MAS commander. "Services takes care of Air Force people in a wide variety of activities. Taking care of people is the most important job there is."

The majority of the troops begin in food service until they're awarded their five skill level, said Senior Master Sgt. Juan Hernandez, 512th MAS superintendent. Once they get into their seven-level upgrade training, they're rotated through fitness or lodging.

In food service, Airmen plan and adjust menus, and prepare and cook meals for Airmen who use the base dining facility and flight kitchen.

Even though the services functional areas have the common thread of customer service and necessity, the nutritional contribution all comes from food service, said Staff Sgt. Michael Whittington, 512th MAS food service supervisor. Airmen can't function properly without appropriate nutrition.

Nutrition may be a key component in an Airman's daily performance, but promoting physical fitness participation to maintain the Air Force's standard of readiness is also essential--especially when performing duty functions under extreme temperatures and work schedules in an area of operation.

"If you're not physically ready to do your job, then you're a liability to the mission," said Tech. Sgt. Marzelle Autrey, 512th MAS fitness NCO in charge. "Keeping up with fitness is even more important now with the (Air Force's) new fitness standards and the big demand of being able to operate in a deployed environment."

With services personnel overseeing Airmen's nutritional and fitness needs for daily maintenance and improvement, they also ensure Airmen receive adequate lodging to enable proper rest, to complete the standard 24-hour daily balance to maintain Airmen's well-being.

"We provide (Airmen) with a home away from home and the security of having a place to rest and be comfortable at the end of the day," said Tech. Sgt. Tracey Taylor, 512th MAS, lodging supervisor.

Members of the 512th MAS work the main functional areas in the career field, some also have the unique mission of supplying the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operation Center here with about 30 percent of its manpower during Air Expeditionary Force rotations. The AFMAO mission is to return fallen servicemembers home to their families with dignity, honor and respect.

"Returning the fallen to their families is necessary, honorable and humbling," said Major Bruker-Walos. "What makes the (deployers) unique and great is the reality of what their mission is and their willingness to serve there."

The people of the Renaissance era sought to develop a variety of skills including areas of knowledge, physical development and social accomplishments. Airmen in the services career field encompass the same qualities and handle their duties with pride.