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United We Stand
by Jerilyn Quintanilla - July 3, 2012

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ABERDEEN CITY, England (6/25/2012) - "I am an American Airman. Wingman, Leader, Warrior. I will never leave an Airman behind, I will never falter, And I will not fail."

Staff Sgt. Kelly Adler, right, goes over customer service training with Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Seller at the Defense Courier Station here Feb. 14, 2012. Adler is one of six airmen and Seller one of four sailors currently assigned to the DCS. Photo by Jerilyn Quintanilla, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Kelly Adler, right, goes over customer service training with Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Seller at the Defense Courier Station here Feb. 14, 2012. Adler is one of six airmen and Seller one of four sailors currently assigned to the DCS. Photo by Jerilyn Quintanilla, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

 Airmen recognize these words as part of the Airman's Creed. They recite these words, promising to answer the call to be good wingmen, leaders and warriors at all times.

This is a promise made to their fellow airmen. But it is also a promise they make to all military service members: soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

The mission of the U.S. military has always been a joint effort. Each branch of service has its own part but they all work, strive and fight for the same things, national security and freedom of the nation and its people.

Although the mission is clear, there are definite lines distinguishing one service from another. Those lines are blurred when working in a joint assignment or environment. It's one way steal a glance at how your sister services work and offers a unique learning opportunity.

At RAF Mildenhall, the Defense Courier Station is home to just a handful of sailors all of whom
can be easily spotted in their ocean-blue navy uniforms, among the airmen in green.

 Yeoman Chief Petty Officer Kelvin Holloway, the most senior ranking sailor in the DCS and station superintendent, has worked on Air Force and Marine Corps installations with all branches of the U.S. military.

"I've had the pleasure of working at a few locations where all branches were assigned," he said. "The overall working environment [in the DCS] is excellent. With the community being so small we become closer and have developed a great working relationship."

Prior to coming to the DCS, his joint assignments include serving on Joint Forces Command Naples, Italy and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan.

"In working with my sister services, and in this case the Air Force, I've learned that we all work and serve according to the same values," Holloway added. "The Air Force has the core values of integrity, service and excellence and the Navy has honor, courage and commitment; the wording is different but how we apply those values to our work and our lives is all the same."

The junior sailor on deck, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kniko Armstrong has far less experience, but reaps all the same benefits.

"I have the opportunity to work directly with members outside my branch of service and although it has its challenges, they're not as significant as I expected," Armstrong said.

Holloway echoed the sentiment.

"One of the advantages of a joint assignment is that it provides both services the chance to see how the other operates," Holloway said. "It also provides the service member with a larger scope of the direction the military is going. As for me, it helps me to grow as a leader and mentor; through these guys I've learned to listen and empower them with opportunities that promote growth."

Joint operations can be found on virtually every military installation. And putting the differences in uniform aside, all service members stand side by side.

"We're alike in a lot of ways," Armstrong said. "I was pleasantly surprised to see that we are truly brothers in arms."

By Jerilyn Quintanilla, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2012

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