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Hill Airmen become Space Force Guardians

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Taylor Ferry, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Twenty officers and enlisted personnel from the Hill Air Force Base community were inducted into the Space Force during a virtual ceremony, Feb. 5.

The Team Hill Airmen were asked to volunteer for the newly created force that serves to protect allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.

Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, officiated the ceremony and administered the oath to the inductees.

“Accelerating change into the farthest boundaries of aerospace is now your focus,” said Kirkland while addressing the inductees.

The transfer was officially commemorated by the removal of the spice brown threaded Air Force tapes and flag of the inductee’s OCP uniforms and replacement of them with Space Force blue threaded tapes and a colored flag.

Many of the new Guardians were excited to be a part of a brand-new branch of military including Capt. John McCrea, a Minuteman III engineer.

“Ever since I came in the Air Force, I wanted to do space,” said McCrea. “The opportunity to be part of something new and to help build it from the beginning is very interesting to me.”

Second Lt. Miguel Garibay, a countermeasures engineer and new Space Force inductee, said it was his childhood dream to be involved with space operations.

“I have always been super interested in space ever since I was a kid,” said Garibay. “Initially I wanted to work on drones and work my way up to spacecraft eventually, I didn’t think the chance would come this soon.”

For Spc. 3 Michael Shoemo, becoming a Guardian is another adventure in his military career.

“I am always interested in new things,” said Shoemo. “Seeing a brand-new military branch develop and being a part of it is very exciting.”

The officers who transferred to the Space Force were: Capt. Joshua Gasser, Capt. Scott Hedden, Capt. Derek Holsapple, Capt. John McCrea, 1st Lt. Blake London, 1st Lt. Kevin Oh, 1st Lt. Jordan Smith, 2nd Lt. Matthew Faryna, 2nd Lt. Nicolas Gagalis, 2nd Lt. Miguel Garibay, 2nd Lt. Dane Norman, 2nd Lt. Jacob Schneider, and 2nd Lt. Joseph Travaglini.

The enlisted who transferred to the Space Force were: Sgt. Roxanne Esler-Groschel, Sgt. Mitchell Francis, Sgt. Brett Mills, Spc. 4 Jake Sevier, Spc. 3 James Brooks, Spc. 3 Shakayle Ellis, and Spc. 3 Michael Shoemo.

The ceremony had limited attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions and was broadcasted virtually by the 2nd Audio Visual Squadron.