This web site is dedicated to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces

- PROFILES IN UNIFORM -

Welcome to the Post 440 "Profiles in Uniform" page. Here you will learn about one of our members and their military service. We hope you enjoy these bio's and will share them with others.

We appreciate any and all feedback and are always looking for bio's from our members.

Tell us about your time in the military. What branch were you in? When? What did you do? Where were you - share your experiences.

Click Here to inquire about a profile or submit a bio by cutting and pasting it in.

Our First "Profile in Uniform" for [Q3 - 2013] is Sarah Leslie.


I am AWFC (NAC/AW) Sarah Leslie. In short, that is Chief Leslie. Mine was not the “typical” service. I was an active member of the US Navy for 24 years. Technically, I was a member of the Naval Air Reserves. However, I did not serve on “active duty” other than my Reserve ACDUTRA (active duty for training). However, I performed a LOT of ACDUTRA!

From 1987 to 2011, I was an Aircrew member of VR-52, based at Naval Air Station Willow Grove, in Horsham, PA. The base later became known as NAS JRB (Joint Reserve Base) Willow Grove. (don’t you just love military acronyms?) My squadron was a Reserve logistics squadron. It had a core group of active duty personnel that kept us up and running 24/7, but the majority of the members were reservists. Our mission was to transport military personnel and equipment wherever they needed to go – world-wide. We flew McDonnell-Douglas DC-9/C9-B aircraft that were purchased commercially and then retrofitted to meet the needs of the Navy. For example, one of the planes in my squadron previously was used to haul cattle in South America. Yes - I said cattle. When we originally received it, much of the body had deteriorated as a result of the cow urine. The planes were mechanically and cosmetically overhauled and modified with added fuel tanks for extended range flying (across the pond). Two over-wing emergency exits were also added. In an all-passenger configuration, we could carry 90 passengers and 7 crew members. We could also remove the seats to transport cargo. In an all-cargo configuration, we had 7 pallets of cargo. Most times we functioned in a combination configuration and depending on our lifts for the mission – we had 2 or three pallets and 45–65 people.

In general, reservists were required to work one drill weekend a month and 2 weeks of “summer” active duty for training. However, in the case of VR squadrons, even though we were a reserve squadron, we had missions 24/7. So a lot more time was required of the reserve members. Being aircrew, generally you could work/fly as much as you wanted. There was always a need for member participation. On average, I would fly about 3 weekends a month. These missions were generally stateside and either 1 day or the entire weekend (depending upon our destinations). Our “2 weeks” of summer training came in overseas detachments that lasted 17 days up to 2 months. Overseas we were based in Sigonella, Sicily; Rota, Spain; Bahrain, or Atsugi, Japan (outside of Tokyo).

My job as a flight attendant was the best job in the Navy. And I think the best kept secret as well. Not many people know of the job of the Navy “flight attendant”. And most of us were men – not women. We had the same training that the commercial airlines use. And in addition to our flying jobs, we had to hold, maintain and be promoted based on our rating – not our aircrew positions. My rating was Storekeeper. As a Naval Aircrewman, I traveled world-wide, saw and did things that I did not think possible even in my wildest imagination. Along the way, I saw the world, met some fantastic people and made life-time friends. But most of all I served my country. I am proud to say I served in the United States Navy.

 

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