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Recalling a long history of service

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christina Carter
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

There are many unsung heroes in the U.S. Air Force and not all of them wear the uniform. Everyday there are hundreds of federal employees, contractors and volunteers who are committed to ensuring the mission continues.

Christine Roop, the 509th Bomb Wing executive assistant to the commander, is one of these heroes.

Roop grew up in a military family. Her father retired in 2000 as a 393rd Bomb Squadron chief enlisted manager at Whiteman Air Force Base.

“My decision to work on base was easy,” she said. “That’s where I lived! My dad is a retired Chief Master Sergeant. My world was military so it just made sense that I would work on base as well.” 

Roop began her career with the Air Force at the age of 21, as a Youth Center recreational aid, and has not stopped serving the men and women of the Air Force since.

“My time as a recreational aid in 1991 until 1996 at Grand Forks was great for me because I connected with so many families, some of which I have run into here at Whiteman since then,” Roop said. “I know Permanent Changes of Station can be stressful for the whole family and I was happy to be a part of making that transition so much easier from a childcare perspective.”

While working at the Grand Forks AFB Youth Center, Roop met her husband, who worked in the Security Forces Squadron, through his daughter who attended the program.

When her now retired husband was stationed at Whiteman AFB in 2000, Roop started serving on base. She has worked various jobs since they arrived, including in-home daycare, Youth Center clerk, Force Support Squadron secretary, and Mission Support Group secretary.

“Christine is extremely caring,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Reiss Oltman, the 509th Bomb Wing executive officer and coworker. “On top of running the Wing leadership’s schedule, she is always making sure everyone in the office is taken care of. She brings candy, trivia, and fun. She is always willing to help and make the office feel like a home.”

Roop has worked tirelessly at Whiteman AFB for 20 years helping to forward the mission. Throughout her career working as a secretary, Roop has worked for many commanders including three with the FSS, two with the MSG and since early 2019, two with the BW.

“I enjoy working with Col. Schreiner,” Roop said. “He is very relaxed and he allows his people to make decisions on their own, only offering his guidance when needed. He likes to get out and talk to people and is always approachable.”

 According to Roop, if she takes care of the 509th Bomb Wing Commander and Vice Commander they can take care of the Wing.

“A lot of my job with the commander is keeping him organized,” Roop said. “I also do a lot of behind the scenes things. I handle all of their travel and work with commander’s family when needed. I make sure everything is set the way that they like it because if I keep them happy and on track then everything else stays happy and on track.”

Over the course of her career, Roop has learned to cope with the changes associated with military life.

“Be flexible,” she said. “Things change so fast and so do attitudes. I’ve learned not to take things personal, smile and have fun at what you do. I love what I do here and I take great pride in my work.”

Roop’s hard work and dedication has been noticed by everyone but especially by Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, the 509th Bomb Wing commander.

“Christine is amazing at keeping the energy level up around the office,” Schreiner said. “Her positive outlook helps me get through the tough days and she reminds me to enjoy and appreciate the good ones! She is often the first stop for decisions that come up to the wing. She ensures information gets to the right people and that I don’t get bogged down on issues that should be dealt with at a different level. Her work is critical to keeping the mission going in the front office.”

Roop said she loves working in the front office, but is grateful she can leave work and spend time with her family.

“I have three grown children and two dogs,” she said. “A lot of my family lives in Missouri and I love hanging out with them. I also love being outside doing yard work or working in the garden in my free time.”

Roop will celebrate 29 years of service to the Air Force this year.