W4CEC Volunteer Examiner Team - Laurel VEC


  -----Original Message-----
From: Heisterkamp Scott W CMSgt 784 CBSG/CEM
Sent: Fri 8/10/2007 2:57 PM
Subject: RE: Where do "you" draw the line?


Now for some fair and balanced reporting--from one of the two AMMO contingents on Hill.

Well...since I am one of two active duty AMMO Chiefs on this base, I was passionately involved in all of the the "If You Ain't Ammo You Ain't Shit" calls last night. In fact, I initiated 8 of them (5 graduates/3 award winners). Some of you may well know the history of the AMMO career field, some of you may not care. Regardless, we are extremely proud of our heritage and the legacy of those who "humped and fragged" in WW I and WW II, Korea, Vietnam, and the many other conflicts since aerial warfare commenced. The concept of "AMMO" itself is the bedrock of our institution and we treasure it as much as anything else in our service. It could easily be, "If you ain't AMMO, you probably don't understand". That seems more appropriate.

I am sorry some of you contend our AMMO Call is "questionable" or "unprofessional", and the forum where it is used is not suitable. It has been around for as long as any AMMO troop I know has been around
(pre-Vietnam), and has been a source of inspiration at Hill long before I was first stationed here in 1987 with the 388 TFW/34th Combat Munitions Unit, in every forum where we gathered, regardless of dress or atmosphere.Back then, we were the only group to even have a call. Everyone else just sat there all disjointed and lame, while we openly pronounced to the world the pride in our chosen profession. Since then, I've heard some good and many not so good attempts from other units to generate their own call. Like so many other whims, they usually fall to the wayside, or exist only in isolated pockets. AMMO traces its legacy back to 1783 and the beginnings of the US Army Ordnance Corps. I promise you that if you ask any Ammo troop (Active, Guard or Reserve, including most family members) what their AMMO call is, they will recite to you the same exact message. We begin in Tech School and continue until they become the Chief and can initiate the call and carry the message. Most career fields have no internal loyalty or forged honor amongst comrades.

We actually have to curb the enthusiasm of our troops. In the US Navy, their AMMO troops go by "Ordie" (short for Ordnancemen/Aviation Ordnancemen). Their Ordie call is "If you Ain't Ordnance, You Ain't Shit". The "call" trancends services, just as it does periods in history and technological revolutions. AMMO is all about sustaining the very foundation of the USAF--munitions. Bombs, bullets, missiles, grenades, egress components, anything that explodes. It isn't glorious or pleasant work at times. It is backbreaking, finger smashing, dangerous work, performed far away from the base populace and in a world few of you can understand or even contemplate. We deal in death and destruction; it comes with the reality of knowing what we are directly responsible for. Who we are is as important as what we do. We did not come up with the AMMO Call, nor was it quickly convened to try and "match" the call of another group. It has been around for generations of Airmen. We have several other AMMO calls; I cannot type a few of them for fear of Network retribution. Sure, we can come up with another call that passes the "everyone" test, but I must ask why? The AMMO Call is the original and therefore the standard by which all others are measured. Why mess with a classic? It almost bankrupted Coke.

Speaking of that, some intellectuals analyze the AMMO Call and "astutely" realize the comedy twist in it (so if you ain't ammo and you ain't shit, that means if you are ammo, you are shit...). Trust me, you're not the first; it's been researched a thousand times and tossed around to try and jib us. It doesn't work. We think it's funny. We have a sense of humor. It was meant to be that way.

If the word "shit" is really that offensive, or somehow, in some form I cannot quite comprehend, disgraces our service, or is unprofessional and may give some people the impression AMMO is "out of control", you should analyze the social influences of our taxpaying foundation and watch local television at 9 o'clock on a Friday night. I assure you that your kids, spouses, and innocent grandmothers are watching/hearing worse on sanitized Utah television, inside or outside a USAF sanctioned environment.

As for the impression of AMMO and the 784th Combat Sustainment Group being unprofessional, undisciplined hooligans because we say the word "shit" and have 35+ people at a ceremony rallying around our AMMO call to celebrate our hard working graduates and ALS award winners...man, you are all over the grid and I'm quite happy to let you know that you just don't have a clue. We define the word disciplined. We've been called worse than hooligans, but not by anyone that matters.

Chief Heisterkamp
AMMO Chief