USAF SERVICES BADGE
Food. Clothing. Lodging. We often take necessities like these for granted, and it’s likely that many Airmen do the same—but if so it’s only because their fellow service members in the Services specialty (3M0X1) are efficiently carrying out their duties.
Though lacking the glamor or excitement associated with other Air Force specialties, the Services Career Field is absolutely integral not only to maintaining Airmen’s health and well-being, but also in providing access to programs and facilities that both keep morale high and ensure the mental and physical readiness of units both in the homeland and overseas.
Airmen serving as Services specialists work with both appropriated and non-appropriated funds to deliver everything from food and lodging to access to retail outlets—both online and brick-and-mortar stores—laundry facilities, and physical fitness centers. Just as in the private sector, they must determine the efficacy of their service and retail operations, especially critical in the work they do as the liaison support for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), commonly called The Exchange.
Because it receives just three percent of its operating capital from appropriated funds (with the bulk of that small amount being spent on overseas operations), The Exchange has to deliver goods at prices that are competitive, yet which still generate enough profit to fund the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs that enhance Airmen’s quality of life on multiple levels.
But because the Services Career Field is contingency-related, Airmen serving in this capacity can often find themselves abruptly taken out of their comfort zone as part of the response to manmade or natural disasters. In these cases, their knowledge and proficiency in the use of special equipment and emergency procedures for providing shelter, food, first aid, access to sanitation facilities, and in some cases mortuary services proves invaluable.
Services specialists who decide to venture into the private sector are extremely well-equipped for finding employment. It’s estimated that seventy percent of the American economy is related to service and sales; Airmen who took advantage of the Air Force Personnel Center/Services Directorate’s training programs involving basic services management or genre-specific management (fitness, food, lodging, etc.) will be well-poised to succeed after the time spent serving their country.