ANECDOTE

I joined the military back in 1990. I scored a 99 on my ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam), which meant I had my pick of any job I wanted except for one hiccup, I was a LAPR (this is going to be filled with anagrams, no, that’s not right, acronyms, Lawful Alien Permanent Resident). After telling me that I was assigned as an AFSC 5R0X1 (AFSC refers to the Air Force Specialty Code, in the Army it’s called an MOS) I said, what’s an 5R0X1 to which they said “congratulations, you’re a Chaplain’s Assistant”. I immediately worked out in my head that this would definitely be a damper on my social life, especially having to work on Sunday mornings, so I requested a change in specialty. They send me to the AFSC office and they immediately looked at my scores and said, you scored really well, what do you want to be… I said “I want to be a Fire Protection Specialist”. They said because I was a LAPR, look above, that I didn’t qualify. They told me that I could be a file clerk with the medical group or a cop, Security Forces. My first year at my permanent duty station, I was tasked with protecting and standing guard over Air Force One while the President was visiting Ohio. They told me that, because I wasn’t a citizen, I couldn’t put out fires but I could protect the most important Air Plane in this country. Maybe they figured I had experience on how people breach barriers and/or borders.

This is not a criticism of the Air Force, they have the best specialty training of all the armed forces. This is just how funny bureaucracy can be. The reason I wanted to be a Fire Specialist isn’t all that admirable, I heard that they had the most time off and got to work out a lot. I would have gotten to go and finish my college degree and gotten paid to stay fit. What can I say, I was young and the product of inner city schools. Didn’t really have any direction at the time.

I understand how that statement above reads and you’re going to get a lot of people with opinions. LAPR’s, please refer to above mentioned explanation, probably been quicker just to write it again, are mostly people too, I heard some are part donkey, but you are going to have people think that I shouldn’t have been able to guard the President’s plane, even though I was guarding numerous F-15’s, guarding entry to the base and trained to protect the airbase from attack. LAPR’s go do multiple tour’s of duty and die in combat. My point was LAPR’s should be allowed to stamp out fires or guard the base but I understand not sharing classified information, but those AFSC’s don’t require a TS clearance, even though, if you check, the biggest espionage cases have all been by natural born citizens and not by naturalized citizens.

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