This week’s Up Close features Mr. Bernard Parkinson, 94th Communications Squadron IT specialist. Up Close is a series spotlighting individuals around Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Grove Town, Manchester, Jamaica
WHY DID YOU JOIN?
I was originally going to join the Army, but when I went to the Army recruiting station, he wasn’t there, but the Air Force recruiter was. He said, “come on in here!” So I ended up in the Air Force. I didn’t know too much about the Air Force then. I knew about the Army because my brother was in the Army. It was by chance that the Army recruiter wasn’t there, but it worked out well.
I was active duty for about nine and a half years, and then I was in the Reserve. One day I noticed I had about 11 years of service, and then I had the opportunity to come back as an AGR to get up to about 21 years of active duty, and about 28 years of service.
FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
My interactions with all the folks here at Dobbins. And it keeps me mobile. More than 50 percent of the time, I’m out working with the customers, then back at my desk working. I’ve been here for a while, since 1998.
FAVORITE AIR FORCE EXPERIENCE?
My time in Germany because I could travel a lot over there. I was on a mobile calibration team and we’d go all over Germany calibrating equipment, so we got to see a lot of the country.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
I like to play chess. I usually play against the computer, not a lot against other people because I can’t play fast enough to keep up with the timer. I need a little bit more than what the clock gives. When I play the computer, I have more time. Maybe one out of a hundred times I beat the machine.
I want to become a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). That would be a big step forward for me. I’ve actually started it now and I’m diligently working on it, but it’ll take a little more time.
BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED?
My instructor told me when I finished my bachelor’s degree that I needed to continue on with my master’s degree. I didn’t take the advice at the time, but now I realize I should have. Eventually I’m going to go back and get it though.
SOMETHING NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT YOU?
I used to play soccer for Ramstein Air Base in Germany. We played mostly against other Air Force bases in Europe. We had a very international team: Americans, Jamaicans, Trinidadians, British, Spanish, from all over. We did pretty well, I think.