After serving in the U.S. Air Force for a consecutive 3,000 days, one particular Airman is ready to start his next mission within the newest branch of the military, the U.S. Space Force, and be a part of the one percent of Airmen who swap patches. Staff Sgt. Wesley Murray, a cyber surety supervisor with the 644th Combat Communications Squadron, had always planned to join the military since he was young, but what he didn’t know was that he would be a leader within an entirely new force. “When I was in middle school, my sister was in JROTC, and I loved seeing her in uniform and watching her at drill meets,” Murray said. “There was just something about it that made me want to be a part of it.” With a sense of admiration, he followed in his sister’s footsteps and did the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps throughout his entire high school career. After graduating and deciding he wanted to officially join the Air Force, he waited a year for the job he wanted and started his venture. During his Air Force career, Murray served at three duty stations and four deployed locations, and was able to obtain seven certificates in various advancements benefiting every unit he was attached to. As a cyber surety supervisor, Murray described his job as the sheriff of the network. “In the job that I am in now, we’re normally studying and enforcing polices, making sure that the domain is safe for all users,” Murray stated. Murray is part of a multi-capable deployable communications team within the 644th CBCS, as it incorporates many different specialties among more than 100 people. This unit is designed to deploy all or part of a 32-person team within a moment’s notice to establish and provide initial non-classified internet protocol router network and secret internet protocol router network services.
By making the switch to the Space Force, Murray will become a more active technician and will be able to protect, first-hand, all the systems, networks, and satellites that we use every day. “The Air Force is the one that built me up,” Murray explained. “They [Air Force] gave me so many opportunities that led me to this moment. Now, I’ll have the opportunity to take over all the knowledge and experience from there and utilize it within this new force, and, as a leader, lay out the foundation of the Space Force and create our own culture along the way.” On Feb. 10, 2021, Murray officially switched from Airman to Guardian. Although he is now a part of the Space Force, he is still serving here at Andersen AFB, protecting the forward edge of the Indo-Pacific. (36th Wing Public Affairs)