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Inside the 908th: Services

  • Published
  • By Maj. John T. Stamm
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Editor’s Note: In the spirit of our Air Force Reserve Command award-winning series “I am the 908th," and the 16-part “We are the 908th," we are proud to present the third installment of the 908th trilogy, “Inside the 908th.”  This new series will not focus on individuals, groups, or squadrons, but rather we will investigate specific career fields our Reservists and civilians work in every day and how they enable mission accomplishment.

If customer service is a skill you possess, and a fast-paced career interacting with people from diverse backgrounds is what you crave, then the 908th Airlift Wing has the perfect opportunity for you as a Services specialist.

Services personnel (Air Force Specialty Code 3F1X1) manage, direct, and work in force support programs such as retail operations, food service, lodging, recreation, fitness and sports programs, laundry operations, mortuary affairs, honor guard teams, protocol operations, and force support readiness.  

Services personnel manage force support operations by improving work methods and procedures to ensure economic operation and customer satisfaction. They execute customer service and support programs to resolve customer complaints. Appling accounting principles to control resources, specialists determine budget requirements, requisition and account for subsistence, supplies, and equipment needed to support Services-specific and Force Support programs, identify facility requirements and conduct surveys to determine facility renovation, construction, and modernization needs.

“You have to be able to adjust and adapt,” said Senior Master Sgt. Cedrea Young, 908th Services operations manager. “In Services, we house, we feed, schedule training, and we make sure Airmen are ready to deploy.  We touch so many different aspects of the Air Force we sometimes work longer days addressing issues that are affecting our members.”

3F1X1’s can be assigned a myriad of differing roles, such as: monitoring lodging quarter’s occupancy status, and determining and certifying non-availability of transient quarters; working technical mortuary functions such as supervising teams for the search and recovery of human remains; arranging for transporting and disposition of remains; ensuring mortuary entitlements, escorts, and military honors are arranged; establishing and maintaining mortuary case files.

Other members with this AFSC may find themselves operating fixed, bare base, missile alert and portable food service facilities and equipment, planning, preparing, and adjusting menus. These members will determine resource availability, pricing, and merchandise trends, establishing resale merchandise prices, inventory levels, and safeguarding procedures. They maintain liaison with civilian industry to keep abreast of current trends, product development, and improved customer service techniques.

“Services personnel start out in food service, but as you move up you learn the other sections such as lodging management, fitness, and others,” said Tech Sgt. Andrew Hampton, 908th Services fitness section noncommissioned officer in-charge.  “Once you understand all of them you start moving around at a leadership level.”

Maintaining close liaison with commanders and unit fitness monitors on the Air Force Fitness Program, some Services personnel conduct personal fitness training and develop individual and group exercise regimens.  These members explain concepts of fitness requirements, demonstrate proper conditioning procedures, weight training, and aerobic equipment techniques, and promote physical fitness participation.  They serve as coaches, officials, and athletic activities directors planning, organizing, and conducting recreation programs, securing supplies, facilities, and conducting proper use and maintenance of recreation supplies and equipment, retail operations, or subsistence functions.

Services personnel gain knowledge of, and experience in: preparing, cooking, baking, presenting, and serving food; accounting procedures; management principles; merchandising; marketing; customer service; automated information systems; use of business machines; food service facility operations; subsistence management; operational ration requisition and issue procedures; menu planning; lodging operations; fitness, sports, and recreation program development; instructing, coaching, officiating, or directing athletic activities; personnel management; facility and equipment maintenance procedures; basic business administration concepts; retail operations; responsibilities for mortuary affairs, and search and recovery procedures; responsibilities for lost, damaged, stolen, or destroyed property; and operation of readiness units.

“You’re never bored,” said Hampton.  “Services is the heartbeat of an installation.”

For entry into this specialty, completion of high school with courses in business arithmetic, accounting, computers, physical education, and typing is desirable.

If you are interested in a part-time career with full-time benefits as a Reserve Citizen Airman with the 908th Airlift Wing, please contact our Recruiting staff at 334-953-6737.