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Air Force Crew Chief Follows, Sets Example

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz., Aug. 16, 2004 – "I want everyone I meet to know how proud I am to be part of the best air force in the world," said Scott V. Stout, F-15 Eagle maintenance trainer assigned to Detachment 12, 372nd Training Squadron here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Tech. Sgt. Scott V. Stout, an F-15 maintenance trainer at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., joined the Air Force to gain the professionalism he saw in his father, and said today he wants to share his dedication to service with everyone he meets. Air Force photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"I like seeing the reflection of my ribbons and medals in people's eyes. Whether it's among civilians, shaking hands with the command chief master sergeant or meeting the newest airman on base, I want my dedication to the Air Force to be self-evident."

At 17, Stout, of Jim Thorpe, Pa., saw joining the Air Force as a way to acquire the professionalism he saw in his father, a coal-mine truck driver who served as a P-3 Orion flight engineer in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

Today, as a technical sergeant with 18 years of service and a line number for promotion to master sergeant, Stout continues to work toward that goal while setting his own example for others.

He said all he's had to do is look around during his career to know how to conduct himself, and he sees those lessons affecting his success even after the 30-year Air Force career he plans to have.

"I believe that following leaders and emulating their examples of professionalism will carry me well into the future," he said. His service so far, he added, has given him many of the qualities he looks for in the people who lead him, from his front-line supervisor to the commander in chief.

An F-15 maintenance crew chief by trade, Stout said his long deployment for the Gulf War more than a decade ago was a sacrifice but not for him. "'Sacrifice' sounds as though I had given something," he said. "I feel that my time in that environment was a lot more difficult on my mother and the rest of my family than it was for me. They made the sacrifice."

Stout designs, develops, tests and accepts new F-15-specific maintenance trainers for the Air Force. He also keeps trainers current with constantly changing F-15 system configurations. "Managing time, money and assets is challenging, but rewarding," he said. "My efforts affect the Air Force on an 'end user' level. I get my real reward every time an F-15 puts its landing gear up and then gets to put it back down after completing a mission. That's the best thing about my job."

Having his name on the No. 8 Thunderbirds jet as a crew chief while assigned to the Air Force's aerial demonstration team has been the highlight of his career so far, he said. But his experiences as a crew chief in the Gulf War are right up there with it, he added.

"Seeing my name on the side of my 'gray' jet after it completed a real mission in the Gulf" also was a thrill, he said. "I made that jet fly for my pilot -- safely and correctly."

The 35-year-old noncommissioned officer and his wife, Senior Airman Susan K. Stout, are the parents of two sons: Bret, 8, and Spencer, 19 months. Between his work and his family, life is good, he said.

"I have the perfect wife, perfect boys and am surrounded by professionals who share the same focus on life," he said. "I have learned that dedication to my family is well balanced with my dedication to the Air Force. They are equally important, and equally rewarding."

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