Back to basics with open ranks
By Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith, 162 Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 02, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Logistics is the business of being precise, as Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Ramirez can attest.
So it only seemed appropriate that on Nov. 2, the 162nd Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) held the one event that reflects that kind of precision: an open ranks inspection.
"As the new LRS superintendent, it's my duty to always instill the squadron with pride and professionalism," said Ramirez, who oversaw the ceremonial-inspired tradition - usually reserved for Citizen-Airmen at technical schools, professional development courses and basic training.
But on that unit training assembly morning, open ranks was merely part of an Air Guard logistician's workday, from satisfying training requirements to moving parts and supplies in support of the base mission. "Sometimes we get lost in the daily grind and we tend to forget what we wear to work every day and that we are part of the profession of Arms - something bigger than ourselves," explained Ramirez.
More than 70 Airmen assembled near building 6 in their dress blues, where Ramirez inspected the crew for hygiene and uniform appearance while ensuring their medals and uniforms were in line with military personnel flight records.
Accompanying him was Master Sgt. Greg Curtis, a first sergeant who after shouting out commands like "dress-right" and "fall in," orchestrated a perfectly formed unit, complete with a guidon bearer and element leaders. Curtis described the drill as a way to "reboot some Air Force pride."
Ramirez's initiative for realigning military customs at the base came not from seasoned veterans, but rather the most recent additions to Southern Arizona's air power.
"I see many young airmen come to us 'fresh out' of basic training, and they always impress me with the way they present themselves and address their officer and enlisted leaders professionally," he said. With open ranks, he added, that sword of professionalism will never "dull."
Building espirit de corps within the squadron won't be limited to future open rank inspections, either. Airmen will be running in an organized fashion, Ramirez said, along with drill formations at future training exercises.
For Tech. Sgt. Kenyon Harris, fuel distribution specialist, open ranks was a reminder of his time as a military training leader at Naval Base Port Hueneme's diesel school.
"Open ranks is all about attention to detail, which leads to the big picture of supporting our customers, keeping the fight alive and staying true to the mission," he said.
"If you don't present well in an open ranks inspection, how can I trust you to maintain millions of dollars worth of equipment when you can't do something so simple as keeping your uniform in order?"