Tag Archives: military

Toughest Military Jobs–In the words of Firefighter MSgt Ken Kline

Toughest Military Jobs,” a new series from The Military Channel, highlights some of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Military.  In the series’ latest episode, viewers follow Air Force airmen as they trek through the forest defusing bombs; watch Air Force fire fighters extinguish a C-130 engulfed in flames; learn how Army chemical soldiers fight a nerve gas attack, and see how ammunition specialists handle dangerous munitions.  The episode premieres Thursday, May 27, at 9 PM (check local listings).  MSgt Kenneth Kline of Tyndall AFB appears in the episode and shared with Air Force Live about why he serves. Read more about dangerous Air Force jobs here.

I am MSgt Ken Kline of Detachment 1, 823d RED HORSE Squadron, Tyndall AFB, FL.  Currently I am the Section Chief, Emergency Services Training.  Although my background is 18 years in Fire Emergency Services, I currently maintain oversight of Fire Emergency Services and Emergency Management contingency training for all Air Force (Active Duty, Air Force Reserves, and Air National Guard) members in these respective career fields.

As a firefighter, my job is inherently dangerous.  What kind of person runs into a burning building while everyone else is running out?  It is so much more than that.  I have found myself responding to scenarios involving the following situations:  aircraft crashes with weapons on-board, house/facility fires, major vehicle accidents, hazardous material spills/leaks, rocket/mortar attacks, UXO‘s, and a variety of medical emergencies.  As you can imagine, each and every one of the emergencies I have been on has carried with it a certain amount of risk and danger.  That being said, the training that I have received has prepared me for those situations.

When dealing with high risk jobs, the goal is to maintain control of as many variables as you can.  Whether it is preventing the growth of the incident or securing the area to keep non-essential personnel away, control is key.  There are times when gaining control can be problematic at best; these are the adrenaline moments.  This is why I continue to serve.

I serve because I love what I do.  This statement is all encompassing, to include my job and defense of the greatest country on the planet.  Yes, I am “ate-up.”  I believe that you have to be to become emblematic of the military.  Every day, I put this uniform on with pride and strive to conduct myself in the most professional manner.  I carry with me a faith that if I do this, my leaders will support me and my subordinates will grasp the desire that I show.  I do not serve this great nation for me.  I serve for all those who have gone before me and will come after me and the 300 million Americans that count on me to do my “job” every day.

A Day to Remember

Steve Delgado is a Public Affairs non-commissioned officer assigned with the 56th Fighter Wing/PA, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. He is currently on a tour with the Air Force Public Affairs Agency.

I’ve had the opportunity to finish my military career with a three-month tour at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency in Arlington, Va. What a way to finish being located in the cradle of our country’s history. Within a 200 mile radius of Arlington, a myriad of events that built and maintained this country took place.

Profound events from the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to Gen. Robert E. Lee signing the surrender paper at the Appomattox Court House to end the Civil War in 1865. The 89 years between the two events were filled with events whose historical effects are still being felt today. It would take many months to see and absorb all of the places where so much happened all of those years ago.

When I arrived here, I reaIized I would have a limited amount of time to see and absorb all of the sites in Washington and the surrounding area. However, there was one place that was a priority to visit. If I was told that I could visit only one place while I was here, it would be Arlington National Cemetery. I took the first weekend of August and made it happen.

The cemetery is filled with high profile points such as the eternal flame that marks the resting place of President John Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as the final resting place for career military personnel and their families.  But, the essence of these sacred grounds are the thousands of graves of people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, some of them as young as 18.

There were the graves of soldiers from the Civil War to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. August is a particularly special month because Aug. 14 marks the 64th anniversary of the end of World War II. As I looked at the headstones the names came alive. I began to wonder what each person was like—their favorite foods, music, movies and whether they had pets or engaged in sports and other activities such as camping and fishing.

What’s more, I thought of the sacrifice and anxiety so many of these Soldiers and in the wars of last century and this century Airmen  experienced, suddenly finding themselves in a strange land in some cases thousands of miles from home. Their deaths left grieving families and friends behind. Each person buried there had their own unique story.

I recommend that if someone plans to visit Arlington National Cemetery to walk in and take your time. Get away from the noisy trolley cars and take the time to realize where you are at. I can guarantee that you will leave with a new appreciation of the profound deeds of so many people, and if you are a past or present member of the military, it will give you new sense of pride to belong to an organization with the proud heritage and tradition of the United States Military.