From Alexander B. Cuppett's own description of himself taken from his website:
I was an Action Officer, as in a high level civilian employee on the Joint Staff; commonly known as “JCS”. Prior to 1984 I had served two years on the Air Staff, as well as one year as a Circuit Restoral Planner at the DCAOC in Arlington, VA.
Furthermore, well-meaning non-military folks, have referred to me as “Colonel’. Not me; I worked for a living! Like the three days at Fort Knox, Kentucky, when, in 1957, me and Jimmy LeCompte, from Lexington, Kentucky, slaved in the hot August sun building (by the pile-and-shovel method) a concrete slab for the D-3-7 Company Mess Hall. The mess hall later burned down and they bulldozed the slab and grease trap away. The remaining Company structures, as I saw them about 15 years ago, then served as the Kentucky Military Academy.
Prior to the 1984 Air Staff position I served about 12 months with the U.S. Commerce Department; and some long ago-DOD service at the Washington Naval Gun Factory as an Apprentice Welder. Prior to the Commerce Department duty I served six months with INTELSAT as a Satellite Coordinator, after 21 years with the US Army, ending up my Non-Commissioned Officer Army career as a Defense Communications Agency Systems Performance Evaluator in Athens, Greece.
Finally, be it known, I served nineteen years of my 31-plus years’ (so-called) service to my country in “joint service” billets/slots; probably a record for any one individual serviceman/civilian. Moreover, I served in about 30-plus countries, one way or another, and was stationed/served almost 15 years outside the contiguous forty-eight United States.
I served in JCS/C3SEO for three years, later known as JCS/J-6, and for three years in JCS/J-7 from July 1984 until August 1990. Prior to those six years I served, as noted above, on the Air Staff, in HQ USAF/XOK; later to be named HQ USAF/SI (Information Systems). Yes, Air Staff veterans, there was a USAF/XOK in 1982, and it was then-commanded by Major General Gerry Prather, USAF. He had a sign on his desk: “What you don’t know won’t hurt you – It’ll kill you!” Some of you folks reading this had better take heed to that sign!
”Action Officer” was not a rank; it was a [difficult] position! “Action Officers”, be they commissioned officers, or in the case for a very, very, few civilian “Management Specialists”, are just about the lowest “officers” serving on the Joint Staff. However, they do all the work for the generals and the colonels; the “four stars” just making decisions and giving orders, based on what the Action Officers propose/recommend to the Joint Staff Directors. At that time, Directors were three or two star generals. Now that’s how it was! Please don’t think it could be exactly that way today; not after the [purposely] bungling Bush-Clinton-Bush and Obama “shadow government” gaggles took control.
With warm regards,
/signed/ Al Cuppett
Alexander B. Cuppett
Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medal Recipient, et al, Vietnam, 1970-1971 (1957-1979)
Secretary of Defense Civilian Service Medal, the Joint Staff, 1984-1990
Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Joint Staff, 1984-1990
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge Recipient, 1989
(*Do you have a better description, or did you find an error? Please let me know.