Ode to the Tech Controller

I’ll Clean This Image up later…

I live in the heavens. I reside on mountain tops. I am at constant vigil over thee. I monitor thy righteous ways. Thy levels art mine to command. When thou art in trouble, I will help thee through distorted times. When thou art low, the touch of my hand shall raise thy spirit to the proper level. When thou are too high, I shall terminate thee with a swift stroke of my sword. When thy wires are frayed and broken, my angels shall use solder and iron to heal thee. Thou art the circuit, I am the chosen one, I am the TECH CONTROLLER!

History of the Tech Controller

Snoopy and the “Water Walker” moniker is the adopted symbol of the Technical Controller. The symbol shows Snoopy walking on a wave or water holding what is called a patch cord. The exact origin of this symbol is contested and specifics are unknown. Some believe the origin was during World War II when an Army Signal Corp Sergeant was called upon to perform many roles within his company resulting from the attrition of battle. He excelled in all of these duties, from cook to power, to assisting with medical procedures, earning him the title of “Jack of All Trades” from his Commanding Officer. Charles Schultz’s Snoopy, more specifically Snoopy’s alter ego “Joe Cool” was a “jack of all trades” as evidenced by his many adventures throughout the long running comic’s life. Thus, Snoopy was adopted as the Tech Controller’s mascot, as this specific career field required it’s technicians to be both operators and maintainers.

The “Water Walker” originated in 1969 when a Tech Controller reporting a circuit outage to the Defense Communications Agency (now DISA) had to explain why an extended critical outage was reported as “resolved while testing”. This did not accurately depict the entire outage. The majority of the outage was caused because someone removed the patch cord that had restore service initially, a human error. The controllers asserted that they felt, in this case, the outage code should revert back to the original cause of the circuit outage. An angry Operations Officer asked if Tech Controllers had difficulty admitting that they could make a mistake, further punctuating or emphasizing his remark with the comment “Do you guys think you walk on water?” Thus the seed had been planted …

Sadly, on 26 January 2010 the last true Tech Control class graduated.

Snoopy the “Water Walker” was retired and memorialized in a small ceremony behind the school house. The Air Force’s Cyberspace career field merger was completed and the Tech Controller was no more. To those 307, 493, 3C2’s remaining still carry the coin, wear the shirt, and continue to instill the career field pride as we all have in the past to all the young troops in this new era. The AF might have retired our career field and mascot, but we shall remain “The Chosen Ones” for life.


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