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Kadena historian deploys to SE Asia

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Sutton
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

Deployments are a common occurrence throughout the armed forces. This holds true for both the uniformed service members as well as their civilian counterparts.

According to the U.S. Air Force’s website, around 400 civilians a year join their military teammates in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations around the world. Recently, the 18th Wing’s History office chief, William P. McEvoy, became one of those teammates.  

“Certain civilian career fields like historians, tend to deploy on a consistent basis just like active-duty members,” said McEvoy. “I think many of us have a deep desire to serve our nation, and that intrinsic desire to serve is a must for these opportunities.”

For their personal safety and security, the civilian-Airmen are issued two sets of operational camouflage pattern uniforms when headed to the area of operations.  

“It’s very rare for civilians to wear the OCPs,” said McEvoy. “But I understand the necessity as I am deploying to an area where this uniform is required. Mostly, I am excited to get in place and begin working on cataloging the history of my deployed unit.”  

According to McEvoy, the responsibility of every historian is simple: capture and document what happens for each unit, every year.

“My colleagues and I record the Air Force’s history, and in doing so, we preserve its institutional memory and provide this information to leaders for analysis and decision making,” he stated. “Further, we present that history and heritage to the Airmen.”

Part of McEvoy’s pre-deployment training required him to become proficient with an M-9 pistol.

“He scored a 44 out of 45 hits on target,” said Staff Sgt. Rogelio Rios J.R., 18th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor. “He is the first civilian employee I have trained and he did an excellent job.”

McEvoy explained he is excited to meet a variety of people from other nations and have the unique opportunity to work in a joint environment with members from other military branches.

“The opportunity to deploy is something I have looked forward to, and frankly, find humbling,” he said. “The Air Force’s mission doesn’t stop, and its actions must be documented. I’m honored to be chosen to deploy and support this vital mission.