News: First sergeant earns ‘Honorable Cop’
Story by Master Sgt. Kevin Wallace
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho – “Make them hurt!” and “Get some, Shirt!” boomed over a crowd of fervent Defenders, eager to see their beloved first sergeant fight his way through a pit of “Red Men,” to earn a coveted beret, should he pass this final challenge.
After utilizing a baton to fend off two largely built Defenders protected head to foot with red padded armor, the small-framed and unarmored Master Sgt. Ryan Glosson, 366th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, indeed earned a SFS beret.
“This isn’t as much about the beret as it is about the symbol of the beret and the people in the unit who know, love and respect you,” said Maj. Ryan Bodge, 366th SFS commander. “Nobody can argue this first sergeant helped us get through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.”
Earning a beret also meant Glosson joined the ranks of those few who’ve been named Honorary Defenders. However, before receiving the honor, he first had to pass an array of physical challenges.
“I’m nervous, apprehensive and just ready to start,” said Glosson, shortly after meeting Bodge and other Defenders April 16, to kick off the day with a 10-mile run around Mountain Home Air Force Base’s perimeter.
His apprehension quickly turned to motivation during the run when Glosson, an Airman with first-hand combat experience, said he thought about all the Medal of Honor recipients who sacrificed so much, making this challenge miniscule in comparison.
The run culminated at the firing range where, with one quick swipe to throw the sweat from his eyes, the winded first sergeant immediately picked up a rifle and engaged enemies during a shoot, don’t-shoot scenario with a hostage situation.
After eliminating the enemy and rescuing the hostage, Glosson had to pick up a 40-pound ruck sack and immediately begin a seven mile march.
Three miles into the ruck march, Glosson’s leg cramped up and he crashed down to the pavement.
Without hesitation, he hydrated, massaged his leg muscle, stood up and resumed.
Moments later, Glosson was already lauding the Airmen of his squadron.
Glosson has been a first sergeant since December 2011 and the 366th SFS was his first unit.
“I’m lucky to have gotten to go to a Cop unit first. As a first sergeant, I’m just here to help and hope I get to continue to do that for years to come,” said Glosson. “These guys don’t get the credit they deserve. They’re the ones who keep the base safe. People can sleep at night here because of them.”
Fighting off the Red Men, normally a three-day training event at the Security Forces Academy, which Glosson learned on the fly, was his last challenge. After victory, his wife stood proudly holding his beret.
A tear rolled down Glosson’s cheek.
Victory was his. On that day Glosson earned the title of Honorary Defender.
Glosson is scheduled to transition to the 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron this summer, where he will assume the duties of first sergeant there.
(Editor’s note: Read more about Glosson and his downrange experiences in “1st Sgt fights ‘fire’ in Afghanistan.)