Packed with Pride
By Maj. Rachel Hughey, 130th Airlift Wing
/ Published September 01, 2018
McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, W.Va. -- Pride. Definition: Deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from the achievements of those with whom one is associated. Pride is what fuels the 130 th Airlift Wing and more specifically the men and women of the 130th Aerial Port Squadron, now Small Air Terminal.
In 1980, Brian Pritt had just graduated Dupont High School and even after watching all of his 5 brothers and sisters go to college, have solid ambitions, he was still a bit uncertain as to what he wanted to do with his life. His father had already served 4 years active duty in the Navy and had been a member of our wing, turning wrenches in the Maintenance Squadron. He urged him to “go talk to ‘em up to the Air Guard.” He was hesitant but always wanted his father to be proud of him, so he decided to join.
He had only worked a couple of years as a traditional Guardsman and fell in love with the Aerial Port duties and traveling. This was his dream job. In 1983 Brian Pritt was a young Airman who found himself at a school in Ft. Lee, Virginia learning how to pack parachutes for personnel and cargo.
“The pride and responsibility of being qualified in the fabrication of aerial delivery equipment is what got the “Packed with Pride initiative started,” Pritt said. The last sentence of the “Riggers Creed” states “I will be sure always.” “If you do not pack a parachute correctly then it’s someone’s life and we take that same mentality when we pack parachutes for Heavy Equipment Airdrop cargo for our C-130,” Pritt said. “Even when I leave this place they will still follow that creed.”
Later in his career he served as the Air Transportation Advisory Group where he was responsible for making decisions which affected over 1,800 2T2’s “Port Dawgs” across the country, working closely with A4 at the National Guard Bureau, pushing the pride and dedication to all those he met.
Lt. Col Andrew Farmer, Logistics Readiness Squadron Operations Officer at the 130 th Airlift Wing has spent the last 20 years learning from him.
“Chief Pritt started out being my supervisor and as the years progressed he became my mentor, best friend, and enemy,” Farmer said jokingly.
Packed with Pride was shortened to P.W.P because the riggers had to sign-off when a parachute was completed. They would place a piece of tape across it and put the date, their initials and P.W.P.
“Even though I’m not in Aerial Port Squadron anymore the creed is always with you and making sure that you are doing your job right, is something I can thank him for to this day.” Farmer said.
At his retirement ceremony on September 8th of this year, it was evident the amount of people he has mentored in his 38 year career. It was a standing room only crowd with visitors coming in from all over the United States to honor his military career.
Master Sgt. Katrina Vargas from the 128th Air Refueling Wing stated while she presented him with a gift was that “he served us like a real servant serves.”
Others who spoke told funny stories about this “infamous Chief” who is well known by other Aerial Port Squadrons but most importantly for his steadfast work ethic in getting the job done right.
Pritt was very humbled by all of those in attendance. He started out by saying, “mean what you say and say what you mean.”
He spoke about God, family, country, and other ingredients which are those leaders and subject matter experts above, beside and below him. Those ingredients are what made him who he is today. He thanked God for allowing him to be able to do all that he’s done; his family for always supporting him in all his endeavors in his military service.
“We may sacrifice a lot in our careers, but our families sacrifice more,” Pritt stated. “I’m forever grateful I took the step and came up here and joined the best unit in the military. I’ve had an awesome career, just sayin’, everything I did, I did with pride and I’m leaving it up to these ‘young pups’ to carry on our outstanding track record.”