Civilians are a vital part of the mission here at Joint Base Charleston, one of which has just hit the 40 year mark of civil and military service.
Alvin Green, director of cyberspace plans and resources for the 628th Communications Squadron, joined the Joint Base Charleston team in 1993, after four years of enlisted service and two civilian assignments.
“I’ve been in communications all my career,” said Green. “When I separated from the Air Force, I was doing the same work, just with civilians. My first civil service job was at Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia. I was there for a couple years and then I was at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for five years. In 1993, I moved here to Charleston, so I’ve been here 27 years.”
He recalled the various changes he’s witnessed in his 27 years here.
“I came here two months before the first C-17 came to Charleston and I had no idea what it meant to have the newest Air Force weapons system on the base,” Green reminisced. “I thought, ‘cool for those flyers and maintainers that have a new plane,’ but for the support guy like myself, it meant a lot too. The support system around the C-17 was what we had to improve, including a lot of building renovations, roads and infrastructures to better support the C-17.”
Green explained even though there have been many changes, he appreciates the consistency of his team.
“We may have a lot of turn over, but as people come and go, it seems like the people that come just kind of fall right in place of the people who leave,” he said. “We have a phenomenal team of
people who work together. They understand their goals and don’t mind going outside of their respective lanes if needed to complete the mission.”
During his many years of service, Green has relied upon family support to keep him motivated.
“I am just really into my family,” he boasted. “My wife works in civil service for the base as well. I have three adults kids now, but when they were growing up both of us working on base was awesome. On the way to work, we would drive the kids to school together and at the end of the day we would pick them up and go home together. We made sure to take a family vacation each year and that was so important.”
Those family experiences and sacrifices lead Green to believe that civilians are a vital asset to the mission.
“We bring the continuity,” he said. “When people come in they wonder why we are doing something a certain way. As a civilian we can explain that. We also embrace new ideas as well.
We are calm and steady when things do go wrong. That’s a lot of what we bring to the table.
That’s what we want to do is add that continuity and say ‘this is how we got here.’ This didn’t just happen, we built it.”
Green retired on Dec. 31 and has feelings of joy and excitement about the legacy he leaves behind.