By Master Sgt. Les Waters, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information
Published May 05, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force is honoring its civilian Airmen, as part of the weeklong Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9.
PSRW is a nation-wide campaign to recognize people who serve the nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. It's to highlight their contributions and to say “thank you for your service.”
“There is no doubt we could not accomplish what we do around the world without our civilian Airmen,” said Chief Master of the Air Force James A. Cody. “They epitomize the spirit of creativity and innovation, and they address incredible challenges in defense of our nation. They deserve our gratitude this week, and every week.”
Civilian Airmen are enabled to perform all government functions with the exception of command of military forces. This includes things like direction and control of intelligence, crafting budgets and strategies, developing cutting edge technologies, maintaining aircraft, training new Airmen and teaching them the technical skills required for their jobs, humanitarian relief mission support. Performing these roles allows uniformed Airmen to be focused on warfighting.
“We are not motivated by fame or money, but a desire to serve our country,” said Patricia J. Zarodkiewicz, the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Air Force. “Too few Americans see the federal government as an incubator for innovation and discovery. The Air Force is an organization that embodies innovation, agility, and adaptability. Interestingly, one-fourth of Nobel Prize winners have been federal employees.”
Last year, two Air Force Research Laboratory engineers were recipients of the 2014 National Security and International Affairs Medal. Ben Tran and Sean Young saved service members' lives in Afghanistan by creating and deploying a new aerial sensor system to help military units detect and destroy improvised explosive devices.
“Federal employment doesn't need to be a 30 year career,” Zarodkiewicz said. “Enhanced workplace flexibility offers you the ability to serve across the spectrum of the federal government, as well as delve into private sector ventures. Whether you serve for 30 years or four years, being a civilian Airman is about meaningful work in the service of your country.”