Four Hurlburt Field airmen make transition into U.S. Space Force

Tech. Sgt. Victor J. Caputo, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

HURLBURT FIELD — Four Air Commandos with the 1st Special Operations Communications Squadron at Hurlburt Field recently made the leap into the U.S. Space Force.

The communications airmen formally transitioned into their new roles as Guardians — the name given to Space Force troops — after taking the oath of enlistment from their flight commander on Feb. 5 in front of their closest wingmen and family members.

The ceremony also was livestreamed so dozens of other well-wishers could join in safely from home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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

The Space Force began accepting transfers from several 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, Space Force Spc. 4 Alyssa Castro, Space Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Darling, and Space Force Tech. Sgt. Brianna French.

Four Air Commandos from the 1st Special Operations Communications Squadron take the U.S. Space Force oath of enlistment during a Feb. 5 ceremony at Hurlburt Field. The airmen transitioned into the Space Force as guardians during the ceremony, joining some of the first guardians to cross into the newest branch of the U.S. armed forces.

“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 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," Garcia continued. "They possess a 'can-do' attitude ... to always find a way to be successful no matter the challenges.”

The title of Guardian brings some immediate changes to the four new Space Force troops, including 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 of the Air Commandos of the 1st SOW.

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“It’s bittersweet; we grow talent and send out our best,” said 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.”