Arlie E. Judd Interview, 27 February 2001

‹‹ Interview Index
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23

AJ:Yes, you just had to work your way through that maze and whenever there was a vacancy, somebody shipped out or somebody moved for some reason or other—they would reassign you based on what they thought your capabilities were, so I was probably the youngest guy, experience-wise, to go to the evaluation group.
INT:How old were you at that time and could you explain Tech Sergeant?
AJ:Late twenties—you have the stripe system. In the Air Force you get one stripe as the Airman, and Airman 2nd class was 2 stripes. That was the old system that I came through, and then 3 stripes was Airman 1st class, then you made Staff Sergeant, and that was the 3 stripes with the little rocker underneath, and then the Tech Sergeant is the next grade, and that was 2 stripes, and then Master Sergeant would be the next grade. Then they had a grade of Senior Master Sergeant, and then they had Chief. Only 2% of the people in the military would be allowed to hold that grade, and it was very competitive. And the promotions we got as flying people were highly competitive, because everybody was pretty good and intelligent, and for the most part knew exactly what needed to be done and had their flight experience, and it was a specialty. It was very special and I was always honored to be on a flight crew and I was very proud of that job, and my children were always glad to say that their dad was on a B-52 crew.
INT:You bet—front line defense. Were you promoted beyond Tech Sergeant?
AJ:Yes, I made Master Sergeant—promoted to Master Sergeant. I made Senior Master Sergeant. The further you went, the more competitive it got and having the flights in Viet Nam—I had some special flights that worked out pretty good. I was in radar maintenance, so when something would go wrong inside the airplane, there was usually some things I could do to fix it, and so I got some recognition in those areas. I was able to do a lot of work in the simulators and enhance the simulator to where it was more directly related to the flights and flights profiles and things like that.
INT:You're talking about sort of refining the equipment?
AJ:Yes. Right. Yeah, we could get it down to where the mission was more relative to a standard mission, or a mission that was like in Viet Nam. There was a lot of things that could be done with the simulator that they just weren't talking advantage of—of some of the capabilities, and we got a pretty good mission profile out of that. And so I got endorsements on performance reports, and then I got to the place where you had to take a test—a performance test, and they call it 'Promotion Fitness Test', and they got down to where they break it in tenths of points for promotion and the guys I was in competition with, most everybody had their performance

‹‹ Previous Page Next Page ››