CAMP BOWIE TRAINING CENTER, Texas --
Much like the uncertainty of weather, one 3d Weather Squadron Airman had no idea what to expect while joining the Air Force.
Now a fully qualified staff weather officer, Staff Sgt. Adam Smith enjoys the unique qualities of the career field the Air Force chose for him in 2014.
“I didn’t want to be weather,” Smith said. “I went in open general because I didn’t feel like waiting to go to basic training since I couldn’t get a locked in job. I had some odd jobs on my list, like operations intelligence and security forces. Now that I’m in the weather career field, I think it’s really cool and that’s it’s a pretty unique job.
Besides knowing a few cloud types, Smith claims he had no weather knowledge prior to the military.
“Everyone tells me it’s pretty surprising that I didn’t get security forces because usually if you put that on your list, you get it,” Smith said while laughing. “But weather was nowhere on my list and the last week of basic they told me, ‘Hey Smith, you’re going into weather.’ I was like, ‘What is that?’ I had no idea what I was getting in to.”
Not only was he surprised to be assigned to weather, but Smith didn’t expect to be working alongside the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss, Texas.
“An Army support weather Airman helps make the Army more lethal,” Smith said. “We provide meteorological information for [Army officials] to make decisions on whether or not they can use their assets based off of what weather conditions exist or will exist in the future. Based off what we tell them, they can make decisions and decide whether they can use what [assets] they have or if the enemy can use [theirs].”
Being in Army weather support has provided Smith with the ability to attend courses, such as evasion and conduct after capture, air assault, airborne and pathfinder.
“There’s a lot of job satisfaction, especially in Army support,” Smith said while smiling. There’s a lot of people who go hiking, and some get stuck or hurt on the mountains and there’s a medical evacuation bird or helicopter that has to go get them to essentially save their life. That aircraft needs the weather conditions as soon as possible so they can get up into the air. If I can them the information they need to take off as quick as possible to get that patient and save their life, then that’s satisfying knowing that I helped.”
It has been more than five years since Smith received his position as an Army support weather Airman. Despite initially not having a background in weather or working with the Army, he has found joy in doing his job.
According to his co-worker, Staff Sgt. Terrance Schalin, Smith not only knows his job fairly well, but he also brings a positive energy to their work environment.
“He’s always open to team work, leadership, and constructive criticism,” Schalin said It makes my job easier, having someone who’s able to execute plans without me asking them to. He owns the rank of an NCO and that’s a tough thing to do.”
Smith echoed his co-worker’s enthusiasm of working together.
“My detachment is a really good group of Airmen,” Smith said. The career field is really small, so I see people I know or have seen before all the time. Everyone is really close knit and the job can get stressful and tough at times, but I think that builds relationships and strengthens them. When we deal with all that stress as a team, it brings us together.”
Though his journey as an Army weather support Airman will soon be over at Fort Bliss, Smith is excited to further his career at Fort Carson, Colorado.