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Readiness Airmen receive occupational badge

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- When six Airmen received the new Civil Engineer Readiness occupational badge during a ceremony here Oct. 2, a lasting impression was made on the careers of those involved in the ceremony and present in the chemical warfare classroom during the event. 

"This badge will ensure they are recognized as experts in a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environment," said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Connors, chief enlisted career field manager and presenter at the ceremony. 

It took three and a half years for Chief Connors and his team to get the badge approved so the proud individuals of the 325th Civil Engineer Squadron's readiness flight could wear a badge that recognizes them as readiness experts among the people with whom they serve. 

This chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive community includes readiness specialists in our sister services, as well as NATO and other coalition allies. This new occupational badge reflects the achievements and laurels gained through the professionalism of this career field, primarily in emergency management and CBRN defense, during both peace and war time operations. 

"We're providing the proper equipment and resources, while their commander is providing the time for training," said Chief Connors. "It's now up to them to become the experts." 

The 325th CES commander, Lt. Col. Sue Grumbach, was a participant in the historical ceremony. In her address to the newly-badged Airmen, she suggested they study hard in their career development courses and manage time to get them done so that they will be able to anticipate what will happen in the CBRN environment and be prepared to respond. 

As the threats of terrorism and the use of weapons of mass destruction continues to escalate, the need to operate in a joint environment also increases. As technical professionals, CE readiness Airmen work closely with other DOD, civil and international CBRN specialists who will recognize this insignia as a universal identifier. 

"We'll stand out now as more than just people who teach chemical warfare classes on base," said Senior Airman Jenny Raybon, 325th CES readiness apprentice. 

This badge also represents an Air Force capability. The readiness career field is a valuable resource that enables commanders to sense, shape, shield and sustain the battlefield while also supporting Air Force personnel in a CBRN environment. This resource, combined with expertise as emergency managers, enables commanders to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from and mitigate risks to the mission, making these readiness Airmen an invaluable asset. 

With this in mind, the Air Force Chief of Staff approved the CE readiness occupational badge Feb. 7 with the approved wear date of Oct. 1. 

Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, the Air Force Civil Engineer, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C., pinned on the first of these occupational badges to Chief Connors as the oldest person in the career field. 

When the awarded CE Readiness occupational badge is worn, it must be worn above the appropriate CE occupational badge. Wearing the badges together shows the tie readiness has to CE, and provides recognition for possessing distinctive, highly technical and specialized CBRN defense capabilities.