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#AFDefender: Meet Master Sgt. Burt Perry

  • Published
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

(Editor's Note: National Police Week is May 9 -15. The week is set aside each year to honor all law enforcement officers – military and civilian – who have given their lives for our nation and their communities. In addition to honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we wanted to use this month to recognize the work of security forces members within the Air Force Security Forces Center, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center headquarters and our detachments. Like Defenders who have gone before, they are paving the way for the next generation because of the work they are doing for installations to include funding, training and equipment.)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Meet Master Sgt. Burt Perry, resource and validation cell superintendent, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Installation Support Directorate, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

We asked him to tell us a little bit about himself and what he does to support the Air Force Defender mission. 

What are your main responsibilities? 
I review and validate security forces requirements as well as develop an obligation strategy to best distribute funds fairly across the security forces enterprise.

What is the best thing about your job? 
Assisting security forces squadrons and engaging with resource advisors across the enterprise to help them accomplish their mission through resourcing. 

As a child, what job did you want to have when you grew up? 
Honestly, as a child I wanted to be a professional bass fisherman. I was obsessed (still am) with the Bassmaster Series and watching the Bassmaster Classic every year. I grew up on a farm and had a large pond to practice every day after school.

What made you pursue law enforcement as a career? 
My older cousin joined the Air Force and was a security forces member. He served four years and became a cop in our hometown of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, afterward. Growing up, I always looked up to him and wanted to follow in his footsteps. He’s now the police chief, and I chose to continue my career in the Air Force.

 What is your favorite part about being an Air Force security forces member? 
My favorite part was at my last duty station where I was a flight chief. It was a tough but rewarding position.  Working my way through the ranks as a security forces member on flight, I was always thinking of how I would run things better if I were the flight chief. When I made master sergeant and was assigned the position, it was nice to have the ability to do that. Accomplishing the mission and helping Airmen by working as a team was the best. I always felt I had the best team (flight) in our unit. 

Why is your job important to the Air Force mission? 
Security forces is extremely important to the Air Force’s mission. Our job is to protect, defend and fight. Without security, there would be no mission or Air Force. Our enemies would simply take over and win. I truly believe we have the best security force in the world, and it’s a large part of why we have the best Air Force in the world. 

What advice do you have for someone new to the security forces career field?  
Stay focused and work hard. Many times, our job can seem boring or pointless, especially as an Airman guarding a flight line, but it’s always important to remain focused and ready. It’s an important job even if it doesn’t seem that way.  There are no “bad posts;” they are all important. Take the job seriously and always give your best, even when no one is looking. Your flight chief and leadership will notice hard work and dedication, and you will be successful. 

What or who motivates and inspires you the most? 
My daughter motivates me the most. She’s always trying to do her best and make me proud in school, softball and everything else she tries. In turn, it motivates me to make her proud. I see the effort she gives to be her best self, and it motivates me to do the same.