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Greenfield student joins Air Force

Thomas Allen Tansil III

Story by Shannon Taylor Senior Investigative Reporter

Thomas Allen Tansil III graduated Greenfield School in May of this year and after much thought, he decided to join the Air Force. Tansil was born in Jackson, but his family is from Greenfield. Due to his father, Thomas Tansil Jr. being in the Navy he said that his family moved around a lot when he was growing up, but he has spent the last five years in Greenfield.

“People in Greenfield, it’s one big family pretty much. In a town so small-most everyone knows each other, and they help each other when they need it.”

Tansil said that being in the Air Force is like being in one big family also. He graduated from BMT (basic military training or bootcamp) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. and graduated from tech school at Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, TX.

Tansil said that boot camp was no more difficult than you’d expect. “They’re trying to mold you into a certain archetype. They want you to act a certain way and they want you to perform adequately. They try to weed out people who might not be suited to it right away.”

At tech school Tansil said he learned a lot of skills about his job. “We did a lot of hands-on stuff while we were there which included working on how to take off panels from a plane and how to work on the different types of equipment we’ll be using. When I get to my first base, I won’t start working at my job right away-I’ll actually be shadowing someone else and learning how to do everything.”

Tansil came back from tech school to be a part of the Air Force recruiter’s assistance program which allows recruits to come back after tech school for about 12 days and help out their recruiter, before going to his first base, which is in Tacoma Washington at McChord Air Force Base.

Tansil said he chose the Air Force because he didn’t want to go to college. “I wanted to get a good job. My dad was in the Navy, and he talked to me about possibly joining the military and I did some research on my own and I thought that I would really like a job in the Air Force.”

Tansil then got in contact with Sergeant Ezernack and they discussed the possibilities available to him. When he came into his office, he didn’t actually have an ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) score. So Tansil went to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in Memphis and took his ASVAB there.

“I scored pretty well on it and can have pretty much whatever job I want. I made a 92.” The highest you can score is a 99. Tansil will be a C17 aircraft maintenance crew chief.

Tansil said he plans on staying in for a term and seeing how he likes it and then, when his contract is up, he said he wants to see if he wants to make a career out of it, because he said he could retire at 32 and receive a paycheck for the rest of his life. Tansil said he is excited to embark on this new journey.




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