MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Tech. Sgt. Cody Plopper, a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft crew chief with the 927th Maintenance Squadron, was named Air Force Reserve Command's Crew Chief of the Year.
Plopper began his Air Force career in active duty as a KC-135 crew chief with the 6th Air Refueling Wing in October 2011. Then, in December 2018, he transferred to the 927th Air Refueling Wing, to be an Air Reserve Technician and Traditional Reservist crew chief. This allowed him to have a more set schedule, but stay in the same place doing the same job.
As a crew chief, Plopper’s duties consist of visually inspecting the interior and exterior of the aircraft, changing tires and brakes, checking engine oil levels and making sure that the planes are running.
Plopper said that a lot of what he does to the aircraft is similar to what people do to their personal cars.
He jokes, “We [crew chiefs] are a jack of all trades, master of none. We have specialists that focus on avionics, communication and electrical equipment.”
In November 2019, he earned his own aircraft with his name on the side.
Master Sgt. Phillip Giacalone, RED crew chief section chief with the 927th AMXS, said, “Not only did he strive to ensure the air worthiness of his aircraft, he completed all delayed discrepancies in a quick and timely manner.”
Over the past year, “on top of all of his regular duties, Tech. Sgt. Plopper stepped up and volunteered to be a manager for the wing’s Nuclear Operational Readiness Exercises and Inspections,” said Giacalone. “He tracked and guaranteed the training of more than 20 personnel to be ready. We passed with flying colors thanks to his diligent persistence of this extra duty. Even with the heavy workload that he took on, he was able to complete his bachelor’s degree in biological health science.”
Going forward, Plopper said that he strives to make master sergeant and take on a wage supervisor job in production. He is also looking to apply for physician’s assistant programs hoping to eventually commission as an officer and become a physician’s assistant in the Air Force Reserves.
“The 927th AMXS takes care of their people,” said Plopper. “It meant a lot that they believed in me. I enjoy coming to work Monday through Friday, I know everyone has my back, they are knowledgeable and easy to work with.”
“Tech. Sgt. Plopper came to the 927th and hit the ground running and has yet to stop,” said Giacalone. I am proud of all the personnel under my supervision but Tech. Sgt. Plopper definitely stands above the rest. He is absolutely deserving of this award.”