TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
An unsung hero is someone who makes a substantial contribution to the mission of their squadron or flight, and the leadership of Detachment 1, 823rd RED HORSE selected Master Sgt. Jim Cummings as the Unsung Hero this week.
Cummings teaches pest management Airmen how to properly do their job in a deployed environment for the RED HORSE Silver Flag training site.
“I love this job,” Cummings said. “I love how it’s always changing. There is always a new challenge and the way we approach the job is evolving as well. Working out here at Silver Flag is awesome. I work with the best people. The instructors are all handpicked and because they’re good. They challenge me to be better.”
Cummings is originally from Iowa Park, Texas. He left college and married his wife, Courtney, two months before enlisting in the Air Force. He has been both married and enlisted for 22 years. He has three boys.
“I majored in secondary education, but I decided I didn’t want to be a teacher yet and enlisted in the Air Force,” Cummings said. “I married Courtney two months before joining and we’ve been together ever since. I later finished my degree at Wayland Baptist University, and I plan on teaching once I get out.”
Cummings also has an interest in flying radio-controlled model planes, has incorporated into his job.
“I started flying R/C planes when I was four years old,” Cummings said. “I’ve had some cool experiences since I was a kid flying these planes. When I was at Hill Air Force Base, I met with the club president of the R/C Air Plane Club and made a plan for how we could contribute to the base with our planes. Luckily I am in a career field where a part of our job is to assist in keeping birds and other animals off the flight line. We actually ended up incorporating our planes into the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program (BASH) and were utilized a few times to scare birds off the airfield.”
Cummings has been stationed at many bases throughout his career, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Hill AFB, Utah; Sheppard AFB, Texas; and finally, Tyndall AFB.
“I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every base I’ve been station at,” Cummings said. “Each one has its perks, I couldn’t pick a favorite.”
Cummings also shared what being an Airman means to him.
“Honestly it’s being a part of something that’s bigger than me,” said Cummings. “I’m a part of something that matters and that helps people. It’s also a ton of fun. It’s like asking a baseball player about his job and him telling you he gets paid to have fun. I get paid to deploy with guys, teach and just working towards things I enjoy doing.”
As a final thought, Cummings shared some advice to Airmen who may be struggling at their current base.
“Enjoy where you’re at,” Cummings said. “You always meet those people who say the two best bases are the ones that they’re leaving or the one they’re going to next. You really have to enjoy where you’re at in the moment and learn to succeed at the same time. I’ve never had a bad assignment, but I’ve met people who either loved or hated the same base regardless of location. Find the good in the people you’re surrounded by and bloom where you’re planted.”