18th Air Force additional duty first sergeant makes history

  • Published
  • By Capt Alexis Burdon
  • 18th Air Force

The 18th Air Force Manager, Cyberspace Readiness and Additional Duty First Sergeant made history Feb. 8, 2020, when he enlisted in the United States Space Force.


Master Sergeant Brandon Duenas joined the newest force in the presence of family and friends both in-person and virtually.


“It was such an honor to see my family and friends come together to celebrate this milestone in my life,” said Duenas. “I never imagined when I enlisted in the Air Force for the first time that I would transition to another branch nearly 19 years later.”


Duenas’ desire for being a part of history served as a main drive for his decision to transition.


“I’ve always looked up to former CMSAF (Robert) Gaylor and his commitment to making the Air Force a great branch to serve in,” said Duenas. “It is his drive and desire for improvement that I hope to emulate in the newest force. As a champion for equality and doing what’s right, he made great changes to our force and I hope to do the same in my new service.”


While Duenas is eager to get started in his new Space Force roles, he will still be a member of the 18th Air Force headquarters staff until he hears otherwise.


“I’m looking forward to life as a Guardian and doing what I can to truly shape the emerging force for the better,” he said.


Duenas added that in addition to his desire to be a part of history, his family was the ultimate inspiration for him to make the change.


“My wife, Ani, encouraged me along the way and inspired me to put in a package,” said Duenas. “My kids are also very excited for me to join and have been counting down the days to my reenlistment. I’m just happy to see them so proud.” 


While he’s grateful to the service that brought him this far, he’s hopeful that all he’s learned in the Air Force will help him bring the Space Force to new heights.


“I’ve loved nearly every minute of my Air Force career,” he said. “In the short time that I’ve been a part of the Space Force community I’m seeing a lot of the great aspects of the Air Force continue into the new service. The camaraderie, the family feel and the emphasis that everyone has a voice all make me proud to transition into the newest service.”