Mr. Randall Ganigan enlisted in the US military in March of 1982. All in one day, Ganigan took the ASVAB, was sworn in, and passed his physical exam. Originally, Ganigan did not want to enter the Air Force. Instead, he wanted to join the Army.
“My cousin convinced me to go with him to try the Air Force, and the rest was history,” Ganigan said.
Ganigan and his cousin, Master Sergeant (MSgt) Abner Ganigan, began six weeks of Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Initially, it was scary for Ganigan because it was his first time ever leaving Hawaii. Fortunately, Ganigan’s cousin was with him the whole time to provide him support.
In Basic Training, new members were taught about Air Force history, ceremonies, The Uniform Code of Military Justice, Rules and Conduct of War, marching and formation drills, and physical training.
After basic training, Ganigan went to technical school at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas for another six weeks to learn about responsibilities related to transportation within the Air Force.
Ganigan came back to Hawaii to serve at the Air Force Unit at Hickam, where his responsibilities related to cargo, special handling, passenger service, load planning, and running an Air Terminal Operations Center (ATOC). All of Ganigan’s responsibilities dealt directly with the movement of military cargo and personnel throughout the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia (also known as CONUS) and other countries.
In 2003, Ganigan served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He was first assigned to a two-week training in Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia. While serving, he worked in an Air Terminal Operations Center (ATOC) section, and completed a yearlong deployment to Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait in 2005, where he worked in Air Terminal Ramp and Cargo sections. Ganigan was in charge of 20 enlisted airmen during a 12-hour shifts from 12pm to 12am. During his shifts, he and his crew were in charge of transporting troops and supplies to other ports.
Ganigan spoke of one transport responsibility in particular that put his service into perspective: “When I viewed and assisted in handling several human remains caskets going through from port to port on their way to their port of final destination, it made me realize and appreciate the importance of the war I was involved in, and the ultimate price that these honorable service members paid for our freedoms as Americans.”
Ganigan served in the Air Force Reserve for 33 years. He served with the 48th Aerial Port Squadron at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and worked his way up to the rank of Master Sergeant (MSgt), E-7. Ganigan spent his last ten to 15 years of service supervising different sections, training and mentoring lower ranking airmen, and working for their Unit Commander and officers. In 2015, Ganigan retired and began working at Architecture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations, and Maintenance (AECOM). Currently, Randall Ganigan teaches special education at Waipahu High School.
While his years of service are now behind him, Ganigan says that his time in the Army gave him “a better understanding, respect, and appreciation for what the military provides for our lives as citizens of our great nation: the freedom to live our lives as we choose.”