Beyond the Uniform-Deployed Edition: Staff Sgt. Gerritsen

 Staff. Sgt. Brett Gerritson ensures munitions accountability while deployed to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea during a four-month Theater Support Package deployment.

                                                                                                                                                      Deployed Edition

Before attending college, I spoke with a recruiter about joining the active duty Air Force.  I was impressed with the benefits of serving my country, but decided to attend college instead and pursue a career in law enforcement.

After I graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with a degree in Criminal Justice, I obtained a full-time position as a police officer with the Columbus Police Department.  I still wanted to join the military but didn’t think it was possible to join the military with my current position, until I learned about the Air National Guard.  I set up a meeting with a recruiter just to see what was possible.  Afterwards, I realized I could still join the military due to the flexibility of the Guard.

I joined the military to serve not only the community in which I was currently working, but my country as well.  After a few years as a traditional guard member, I was offered a technician position in the Munitions Storage Area where I worked in the precision guided munitions shop.  During my time as a technician, I realized there are a lot of great people working at the 115th FW.  I was able to be successful because of the people around me, which helped me gain more confidence and an even stronger work ethic.

Due to the experience I had as a prior law enforcement officer and the skills I learned while working full-time for the Air National Guard, I was able to become a full time police officer for my hometown, the City of Waupun.  I will always credit my time in the Air National Guard as one reason I became the person I am today.

Now that I am in a deployed location, I am integrated into the Munitions Storage Area.  The experience between active duty AF and ANG varies, but the guard’s knowledge, training, and experience is impressive.  In the ANG, a munitions troop is often required to learn all aspects of the career field due to low manning and high operations tempo.  In the active duty AF, it is not uncommon for a munitions troop to only have basic experience in one area of the career field.  Our guard members are training the active duty members while learning new things along the way as well. These types of experiences are what make me glad I decided to enlist in the Air National Guard.


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