Aircrew flight equipment Airman sews for a living

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joel McCullough
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airman First Class Devin Litton, with the 445th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment, participated in his first unit training assemble during the month of October.


Even on his first weekend of drill, Litton stuck out as having a unique personal career that resembles his Air Force one. Litton runs his own handmade tactical gear business out of his home.


The name of his business is Molle Monkey Tactical. He makes magazine and grenade pouches, hard and soft plate carriers and has he started working on his own prototype pull away body armor system. Litton has sold his gear to people all over the world, to include Japan, New Zealand, Australia and England.


When asked how he got into this specific career choice, it was obvious his Air Force profession had shaped this choice.


Before joining the active-duty Air Force in 2011, Litton went to a career technical center for multimedia production. “I wanted to go the graphics and design route,” said Litton. “My parents led me toward the Air Force.”


It was by pure luck that Litton ended up in the aircrew flight equipment career field.


Litton learned his sewing skills during his time as an active-duty Airman. While participating in airsoft competitions outside of work, it dawned on him that he could make some of the gear himself. “I've always been a creative person and have needed that creative outlet,” said Litton.


After deploying in the summer of 2013 he returned with a little extra money and invested in his own business.


Litton said “Our career field (AFE) teaches you that everything you do needs to be meticulous because it’s for a purpose and that purpose is someone's life. Coming from that background and then making tactical gear, it’s the same. It's all about someone’s life.”


“I get good reports on how my equipment holds up. People tell me it's just as good as the ‘real’ thing. It is very rewarding.”


“Sewing is probably the least interesting and hardest part of our job to train on,” said Tech. Sgt. Austin Schutte, flightline NCO in charge with the 445 OSS AFE. “It’s nice that he's showed up with skill and interest in this area, and he does a phenomenal job.”


Litton said that sewing outside of the Air Force and taking such an interest in it has made him a better member of the AFE community. He has learned about equipment and even recommend items to former units that he has worked with.


Litton was born and raised in Dayton and decided to end his active-duty career and return home. He wanted to shift his focus to his business while still serving in the Air Force.


“It’s nice to have a foot in both worlds. They both complement each other very well and I'm always learning something new.”