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Airman Reups on Rumsfeld's Plane at 35,000 Feet

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2002 – Air Force Staff Sgt. Ernest Revell was in charge of keeping Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's plane safe at each of 10 stops on a whirlwind overseas tour. He cemented his own commitment to stay on the job by re-enlisting June 13 at 35,000 feet over Amman, Jordan.

Revell asked Rumsfeld's senior military aide, Vice Adm. Ed Giambastiani, to administer the oath. He didn't know the admiral doesn't do anything small: Giambastiani invited several high-ranking people aboard the plane -- including Rumsfeld -- to attend the ceremony and congratulate Revell.

"I thought I was just going to reup and get a handshake," said an embarrassed-looking Revell after the ceremony.

Revell is an aircraft security NCO with the 89th Security Services Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He's been in the Air Force for seven years and re-enlisted for another five.

Before administering the oath, Giambastiani said it was a new experience. As a career submariner, he said, he's more accustomed to re-enlisting people well below sea level, not 35,000 feet above it.

Giambastiani said he was honored Revell asked a sailor to do the honors, a tongue-in-cheek dig at several high- ranking Air Force officers aboard.

"Re-enlistment signifies his dedication to the nation and the U.S. Air Force," Giambastiani said of Revell. "This young man has his sights set on about 50,000 feet."

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force Staff Sgt. Ernest Revell takes the enlistment oath from Vice Adm. Ed Giambastiani, senior military aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at 35,000 feet over Amman, Jordan. The aircraft security NCO, assigned to the 89th Security Services Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., was charged with keeping the secretary's plane safe throughout a recent 10-day overseas trip. Revell re-enlisted June 13, 2002. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA.   
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