Hurlburt Airmen transition into Space Force, become Guardians

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Victor J. Caputo
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Four Air Commandos with the 1st Special Operations Communications Squadron made the leap into the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony Feb. 5, 2021.

The communications Airmen formally transitioned into their new roles as Guardians after taking the oath of enlistment from their flight commander in front of their closest wingmen and family members, while also livestreaming the ceremony for dozens of others to join in safely from home.

“There was an opportunity back in May and we all applied in that window and were selected,” said U.S. Space Force Spc. 4 Thomas Pawlowski, a client systems supervisor with the 1st SOCS.

The Space Force began accepting transfers from several Air Force Specialty Code jobs that are shared between Guardians and Airmen in February after the Space Force-exclusive careers made the transition in 2020.

The 1st SOCS Guardians who made the transition are Pawlowski, U.S. Space Force Spc. 4 Alyssa Castro, U.S. Space Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Darling, and U.S. Space Force Tech. Sgt. Brianna French.

“These communicators have the talent to get the job done, the skills and knowledge to overcome any obstacle thrown at them and the ability to lead their fellow Guardians,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Reynaldo Garcia, superintendent of the 1st SOCS. “I hope they take all the qualities of an Air Commando with them to help shape the USSF. They possess a can-do attitude of ‘Any Time, Any Place’ to always find a way to be successful no matter the challenges.”

The title of Guardian brings some immediate changes to these members, like blue name tapes and ranks, new ranks for the junior enlisted, and different patches on their arms; however, their mission will stay the same for the time being: supporting the communications efforts and initiatives being taken on by the Air Commandos of the 1st Special Operations Wing.

“It’s bittersweet: we grow talent and send out our best,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Abraham Redoble, commander of the 1st SOCS. “We’re doing that with these four Guardians. They were selected above a lot of other candidates, so we’re incredibly proud to see them through this.”

The four communicator Guardians have their sights set on developing and supporting the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, with great anticipation of the opportunities ahead of them.

“It’s not every day that a new branch is created, and just being able to be a part of it feels surreal, honestly,” said Pawlowski. “I’m just happy to be part of it.”