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Eden native Jamie Schuster is shown with medals he received during his 26-year career with the United States Air Force. The 1993 Roslyn High School graduate retired two weeks ago after serving in eight different locations during his career.

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Retiring Senior Master Sergeant Jamie Schuster posed with his parents, Donald and Arla Schuster of Eden, following his retirement from the Air Force after 26 years of service.

Eden Native Served Country For 26 Years

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

“It was awesome.”

That’s how Eden native Senior Master Sergeant

JamieSchuster described his 26 years of service in the United States Air Force following his retirement ceremony two weeks ago.

But the 1993 Roslyn High School graduate and son of Donald and Arla Schuster of Eden had no idea growing up that he would make a career out of the service.

“I had a friend who was joining, so I joined in November of 1992 on the delayed enlistment program until I graduated,”

said Schuster. “My plan was to spend four years in the Air Force and then go to school. But it was fun, and I got to see the world.”

Schuster had a chance to pick his Air Force job before he began active duty, and he chose munitions. He remained in that field his entire career and served at eight different duty locations.

“I had a boss tell me to never get out of the Air Force without going overseas at least once,” said Schuster. “After I did Korea I enjoyed being overseas and tried to stay overseas someplace.”

The Eden native started out in Wyoming where he worked on components of ICBM missiles and base defense munitions for three years. In Korea, he spent a year working on precision guided missiles.

“We did everything from storing, moving, assembling and maintenance of missiles,” noted Schuster.

His next stop was Turkey for two years, then Alaska for six and a half years, and Germany for four years when he was deployed to Iraq for four months and was responsible for delivering munitions to the flight line.

“We controlled all the munitions in and out of the Middle East. Everything we used in the war we were responsible for getting there and distributing it. It was over $2 billion worth of stuff, mostly bombs. And while I was there, we had over 9,700 confirmed kills on the enemy.”

Following his time in Germany he spent time in New Mexico and Florida, wrapping up his career at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida as the Munitions Material Handling Equipment Focal Point Superintendent.

Schuster was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his “outstanding service to the United States as munitions superintendent.” During his time at Eglin, he led a team of 14 personnel that designed, tested, and developed handling equipment to resolve the Air Force’s most urgent munitions and weapon systems needs. He managed the completion of 85 projects during his four years at the helm that greatly improved assembly, transportation, and maintenance supporting multiple munitions and weapon system platforms.

Additionally, Sergeant Schuster worked with Air Force Global Strike Command to design a B-2 and B-52 weapon’s launcher lift beam assembly. His equipment design worked flawlessly and eliminated a shortfall – enabling units to perform offequipment launcher maintenance while deployed.

His ability was perhaps best showcased in just seven days following a mishap in which a lady was killed.

“They came to us for a solution and within a week my team of six engineers, six drafters, and five active duty personnel had a prototype built and ready to be tested.”

That newly designed bomb rack loading adapter now ensures safe and secure handling of a bomb load, enables a quick delivery of 200 units, and provides a safe load environment for over 12,000 airmen.

“The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Schuster culminate a distinguished career in the service of his country,” said his Meritorious Service Medal certificate, “and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”

Schuster’s biggest challenge during his military career was the constant moving, especially with two kids – Audrey, 15, and Ethan, 13.

“It’s hard on a family.”

At the same time, he credits the military with shaping him into the person he is today.

“It shaped me as a person, helped build me into a leader, and probably straightened out my moral compass,” said Schuster.

Now the recent retiree is thinking about his second career.

“I don’t know what is next yet. I could possibly work for one of the munitions manufacturers or possibly work on base as a contractor. I have plenty of options.”

The Niceville, FL, resident does know he plans to stay in Florida. His fiancé teaches at the University of North Florida and he enjoys the recreational opportunities in the Sunshine State.

Looking back, the Eden native has nothing but positive things to say about his 26 years of military service.

“After that first assignment overseas, I just enjoyed doing it and learning the different jobs. I really had an awesome career and didn’t have a bad time ever. Every assignment was an adventure.”

Marshall County Journal

PO Box 69, Britton, SD 57430
Phone: (605) 448-2281
Fax: (605) 448-2282