State’s highest-ranking enlisted reservist always on ready

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Amos Moore is a busy man.

Since returning to Selma 13 years ago, he has been appointed to head the Selma AmeriCorps program and joined the Air Force Reserves, achieving the highest rank an enlisted man can receive, chief master sergeant.

Last year, the Brantly High graduate was appointed wing command chief, the highest enlisted rank in the Air Reserves in Alabama.

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As command chief, Moore is responsible for keeping 1,075 enlisted men ready to serve at a moment’s notice.

The Air Reserves in Montgomery is the only Air Reserve Unit in Alabama. The command has 1,287 officers and enlisted men and nine planes.

Of that number, 232 are officers. Moore acts as a liaison between the officers and the enlisted men to ensure better communication and improved relations.

Moore reports directly to Col. James Stewart. &uot;I’m at his beck and call. I’m his eyes and ears in the field,&uot; he said.

This makes the job more than the usual two weeks a year and one weekend a month.

At any time, he can be called into action by Stewart, and often is. On Tuesday, Moore was called to Montgomery by Stewart and had to conduct this interview on the fly.

With tense relations between the United States and the Middle East countries Afghanistan and Iraq, Moore knows he could be called into active duty at any time.

It doesn’t bother him much. &uot;We’re trained for the inevitable. Wherever the mission takes us, we’re poised and ready to go,&uot; he said.

It seems this theme is a constant in Moore’s life. Before returning to Selma 13 years ago, Moore worked as an operations manager for UPS in New York City. There he supervised several loading operations and coordinated movements of hundreds of vehicles.

This experience was put to good use in the Reserves, when Moore headed the cargo loading divisions of the nine C-130H cargo planes. &uot;You can’t just throw cargo onto a plane and make it fly,&uot; said Moore.

Even with the challenging and rewarding work Moore does for the Reserve, his favorite work is community based. As head of AmeriCorps in Selma, Moore is responsible for seeing many good deeds done.

Selma is the home of the only AmeriCorps technology grant in Alabama, known as the Digital Divide.

The program is named for the lack of computer skills usually appearing among the poor in comparison to the rich. &uot;We’re trying to get the have-nots up to speed,&uot; said Moore.

Moore’s group of volunteers, 24 in all, teaches adults and children the basics of computer usage in each of the schools in Selma and at seven different technology centers.

Moore keeps the centers open, makes sure his employees are at work and coordinates other community activities AmeriCorps workers are involved in.

Outside of computers, the group builds homes for Habitat with Humanity, feeds the elderly and poor with grocery programs and Meals on Wheels, coordinates blood drives with the American Red Cross, and pretty much make themselves available for any community activity.

They work with the Edmundnites, area churches and the American Cancer Association. &uot;We get involved in any number of community activities,&uot; said Moore.

Community service is nothing new for Moore. For years, he was involved with the Selma Arts program, the American Cancer Society and the Red Cross.

None of this activity will stop anytime soon.

In 2000, the AmeriCorps program received its funding from a federal grant, paying for Moore’s salary and a stipend for the volunteers.

The grant was for three years, and Moore spent several weeks preparing the renewal grant application. The group is expecting notification on their application in the beginning of September.

Moore said he loves his work with both the Reserves and the AmeriCorps, adding, &uot;I love working with the community and I’ll do anything to help people.&uot;