USAF SAFETY BADGE

The Safety occupational badge is awarded to enlisted Airmen in the 1S Safety Career Field, which has a single Air Force Specialty Code of 1S0XX, and officers with an "S" prefix. The sixSafety fields in which officers serve are Weapons Safety, Flight Safety, Ground Safety, Safety Engineering, Space Operations, and Human Factors.

Personnel in this career field will receive the vast majority of their training at Lackland Air Force Base at Joint Base San Antonio (a Safety Manager Course is held at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico). Additional classes are required for Airmen serving in Air Combat Command or the Air National Guard; these are held at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Tennessee respectively.

The tasks and duties of Safety specialists reflect the Air Force’s centralized, holistic approach to safety. In addition to carrying out inspections of facilities, operations, and equipment to assess risks and determine what mitigation steps can be taken to reduce potential hazards, Safety specialists also scrutinize proposed contracts for construction, services, and equipment to develop requisite safety guidelines, as well as evaluate blueprints and engineering plans in order to formulate safety criteria related to explosives, hazardous materials, and environmental impact.

From conducting safety education and awareness programs to consulting with commanders, managers, and supervisors on specific techniques and practices that can reduce the risks inherently associated with machinery and munitions, the Safety specialist is a linchpin in the Air Force’s strategy to minimize mishaps and maximize occupational safety and combat capability.

But even the most exhaustive preventive measures can’t completely eliminate mishaps are, and it’s the job of the Safety specialist to ensure that no lessons are lost when they do take place. They conduct investigations to help identify the causes of mishaps, then use this knowledge to make recommendations to lessen the possibility of recurrence. And by maintaining detailed records related to mishaps, they can employ data analysis to spot trends that might not be obvious when first examining the safety history of a facility, a piece of equipment, or a particular practice.

The Basic Safety badge is awarded to Airmen who complete Apprentice Technical School, while the Senior Badge is garnered when they reach the 7-skill level, which on average takes about seven-and-a-half years. The Master badge is awarded to Master Sergeants who have held the 7-skill level for at least five years; it typically takes Safety specialists sixteen years to reach that rank, though it’s possible to do it in half that amount of time.

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