53-year Civil Service career comes to close

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jeff Parkinson
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
A lot can happen in 53 years, and one Air Force Special Operations Command civilian Air Commando experienced it all.

Jerry McCallister, the AFSOC operations division deputy chief, retired from the civil service in a ceremony here, Dec. 9.
Col. Thaddeus Allen, the AFSOC operations division chief, presided over the ceremony.

“Today we’re not only recognizing Jerry’s retirement and his part in AFSOC history, but we’re looking at his transition to the next stage of his life,” Allen said. “He departs at the end of December, and we’re all going to miss him. He’s left a fingerprint on the division, the command and has influenced a lot of lives through the years.”

During the ceremony, McCallister said his motivation to serve 23 years on active duty and 30 years civil service came from his commitment to contribute to the many operations over the years.

“While on active duty we had a lot of conflicts going on in Vietnam, Grenada, plus the Cold War, and I wanted to see it through and contribute my part,” he said. “After joining civil service, we had even more conflicts going on: Just Cause, Desert One, Desert Storm, and Enduring Freedom just to name a few. I felt the same passion for contributing my part.”

McCallister spent his entire civil service career in AFSOC and was a contributor to the initial stand-up of the Major Command.

“The first five years here we were 23rd Air Force which later turned into AFSOC,” he said. “I was able to use my experience as a numbered [Air Force] to help move things along. There were so many challenges, but we worked through them one by one.”

McCallister admits after so many years of service he will miss working for and serving his country.

“I want to thank [Air Force Special Operations Command] for being my additional family for these past 30 years,” he said. “What I will miss the most about working here is the day-to-day interactions that I have been blessed with for the last 30 years. Now I know why we're called Special [Operations]. It's not just the mission we perform; it's the way the leadership in this command embraces each and every individual who works here.

“Most everyone I know who works for AFSOC consider it a calling, not just another job.”