News: 100th LRS member transitions from military to civilian life
Story by Gina Randall
ABERDEEN CITY, U.K. - At times it may seem young people in the military may not think about what they would do if they were no longer a service member.
For a former Team Mildenhall airman, this was especially true.
“Once I left the military there was sort of an unknown factor,” said Raymond Moss, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron Quality Assurance inspector from Bentonville, Ark. He wondered, “What did I really want to do?”
Departing military members come from a variety of backgrounds, and they all have an assortment of stories to tell of their military careers.
“I retired from the military in 2010, after nearly 26 years service,” Moss said.
Moss’ military career led to a diverse range of roles. During his 26 years, he worked in flight line support equipment, tactical nuclear weapons systems, was a first sergeant for five years and was a flight chief for the 100th Maintenance Squadron.
Moss looks back on his career with fond memories.
“The best part was the people — you hardly ever hear of somebody that has worked for a company and has had the opportunity to work with people from all over the U.S.,” Moss said. “There is such a wide, diverse mix of people in the military. If I were to work in Florida, there would be a chance I would work with people who have lived there their whole lives. But in the military, I was able to work with people from New York, California, South Dakota, Mississippi — all over.”
As with every job, Moss encountered challenges while he served his country.
“The biggest challenges were a mixed blessing; the heavy deployments, being away from the family for months at a time, even a year at a time,” he said. “But they were to support the mission, they had to happen and I can’t — or wouldn’t want to — take my dependents with me to a war zone.”
However, as with every role in life, it must come to an end. In a regular job, upon retirement, you leave the job, but everything else remains the same. But for a service member, their whole lifestyle changes. They leave their house and area they call home, they leave their friends and colleagues, and usually they embark on a new career.
For Moss, the choice was clear, he wanted to continue working with the people who made his career in the military what it was. He wanted to become a civil servant.
“I am still able to serve my country as a civil servant,” he said. “A lot of civilians don’t get that opportunity.”
The former airman now works for 100th LRS Traffic Management Office. The office coordinates all the household goods and unaccompanied baggage shipments going in and out of this area. The QA office specifically evaluates the removal companies. One of Moss’ responsibilities is to ensure the removal companies are complying with the standards the Air Force expects for its most valuable asset — its people.
The QA team completes U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections each day. They check every shipment going back to the U.S. that may have any high-risk items, or items that might carry vegetation, as these items need to be inspected. The QA team tries to keep foreign, invasive species out of the U.S.
Moss enjoys his job and has adjusted well to civilian life, and he said the Air Force set him up well for any life he chose. Making the transition was a worrying time, but Moss said the skills he developed while serving as an Airman have served him well.
“In the military we are given all sorts of skills in resiliency. And those resiliency skills helped the transition and make it easier,” he said. “I hear a lot of people are always sort of afraid, and I can’t say I wasn’t the same. But once you become a civilian and make the leap, you will appreciate it.”
The Air Force trains and molds its members, and when they leave the service they can be valuable members of not only the society they live in, but to any work centers they enter.
During Moss’ service, he said he received some important advice from a chief master sergeant.
“He told me civilian employers want military — retired military — because they are drug free, know how to take orders, show up to work on time, they have company loyalty and they don’t have to pay quite so much into their retirement funds because they are not going to be employed quite as long,” Moss said when he recalled a speech by a retired Chief Master sergeant of the Air Force given to the first sergeants’ council when Moss was a first sergeant at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
Retired service members can be beneficial members to any team. For the people who have sacrificed so much to serve their country, leaving the military can be daunting. Moss knew he wanted to find a way to continue serving his country and overcame this challenge.
“Transitioning from military to civilian life is much easier than you would think,” Moss said.
For more information on civilian employment, contact the civilian personnel office at DSN 238-3540 or commercial at 01638 543540.