By Technical Sgt. Sarah Morgan
Air Force Global Strike Command
Behind every general officer in the Air Force is a special team designed to support them and bring forth important issues in the command. Almost everyone has heard of an executive officer, the aide de camp and administrative assistant, but what many of you don’t know is that there is a very small career field of enlisted aides who are behind the stars.
The enlisted aide career field is a special duty, made up of the ranks of staff sergeant to chief master sergeant. Each three star general in the Air Force is allocated one enlisted aide and each four star is allocated two. These dedicated professionals are responsible for uniforms, social obligations held at the general officer’s home, and the management of the quarters to include yard maintenance and coordination of repairs. They come from all different backgrounds and experiences in the Air Force but one thing they have in common is their passion in the culinary arts.
It was this passion which brought me into the career field. I was an airman first class when I was first introduced to the enlisted aide career field. I was working as a missile field chef in the 319th Missile Squadron when we had a visit from the US STRATCOM commander and the commander of the Twentieth Air Force. The Twentieth commander noticed that I had a hunger to improve in my culinary skills and offered me the opportunity to train with his enlisted aide. I jumped at the chance to get some real training.
The enlisted aide I trained under was a technical sergeant who loved his job! His culinary passion was apparent in the flavors of each dish he prepared. I spent a few days learning about the enlisted aide career field and a couple days helping prepare for a dinner party being held at the quarters. The few days I spent in the kitchen with this chef inspired me to pursue my culinary dreams.
I was hired as an enlisted aide in 2002 and since then have had the opportunity to work for three different general officers and a handful of amazing chefs in my very small career field. The training I have received since becoming an enlisted aide has been invaluable to my professional and technical development. I encourage anyone who wants a challenging and rewarding occupation in culinary to pursue his or her dreams and work behind the stars with me.
Enlisted aides attend rigorous culinary training, to include Basic Culinary Training at Randolph Air Force Base, Food Safety and Sanitation, Culinary Institute of America’s Professional Chef Certification Training and Advanced Culinary training at Fort Lee Virginia. In addition to their culinary training, enlisted aides take courses in household management and general officer quarters management.
Photo: TSgt Sarah Morgan demonstrates her show piece at a director’s dinner July 29, 2011.