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Bon Voyage Schriever

Senior Master Sgt. Justin Halterman, 50th Operations Group first sergeant

Senior Master Sgt. Justin Halterman, 50th Operations Group first sergeant

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

I’m so proud to be a Schriever Airman. I had to start my goodbye this way because as you near the end of an assignment, you reflect on all the experiences you have had and people you’ve met there. 

When I think about you all, and what you bring to the fight, I find myself smiling with pride.

I grew up in Maine on two acres of land in a 70-foot trailer. If somebody would have told me that 20 years after turning 19 in Basic Military Training I would be leading at the epicenter of the United States Air Force’s space operations, the premier space base, I never would have believed it possible.

Let me break a few things down that have happened just this year: 

Schriever Airmen supported the visit of 63 dignitaries and international partners, including the Vice President of the United States, Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and many more, more than any other assignment I have ever had.

That’s how important the work you do and support is. They want to know what you do. They want to know what you need to advance space and cyber warfare.

The space discussion happening at the national level is to secure America’s future dominance, and to ensure that our loved ones are safe and protect our way of life. Schriever Airmen have supported or directly controlled constellations, nearly a couple hundred satellites worth billions of dollars.

We have advanced our nation’s space capabilities, the ultimate high ground. Whether it’s the defenders keeping the perimeter safe and greeting us every morning, or the amazing talent across the wing improving our buildings, coordinating the distinguished visits, taking care of our Airmen’s personnel needs, making us breakfast, lunch and dinner to the brilliant and talented operators controlling the space-based vehicles to support the entire Department of Defense, Schriever Airmen are serving our country well and I’m so proud to be one of you.

I’ve deployed seven times and each time space operators have supported my team’s efforts to fight the war or enabled us to stay in touch with our loved ones.

I didn’t wonder much about what it took to make that happen until Schriever Airmen taught me.  A month ago I was camping and stargazing in Breckenridge, it was a crystal clear and cold night with no moon. 

As my eyes adjusted, the stars and Milky Way started to put on a show. Then for the first time since I can remember, I began to see satellites moving across the sky.  My wife started to point them out and tell me about her Space 100 course and low earth orbits, which I knew about because my Airmen are awesome teachers and proud of what they do.  Immediately my mind went to Schriever AFB, who’s on crew, who’s guarding the gates, who’s cooking meals. 

I knew, even though I didn’t know all their names, my wife and I were safe because the guardians of America were controlling the ultimate high ground.

 I’m so proud to be a Schriever Airman and a first sergeant. As I say goodbye, know I’ll never forget you or what you bring to the fight for our country.  God bless each of you, thank you for being some of the amazing, proud, intelligent and brave few with the courage to raise your right hand and defend our nation.  I’m so proud to have served with you.