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2nd Lt. Michael Hareld becomes first member of U.S. Space Force at Arnold AFB

  • Published
  • By Deidre Moon

2nd Lt. Michael Hareld transferred from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Space Force, becoming the first full-time member of the U.S. Space Force on Arnold Air Force Base.

While visiting Arnold AFB on Feb. 5, Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force, administered the U.S. Space Force Oath of Office to Hareld.

Hareld said the chance to become a part of the U.S. Space Force is special to him and isn’t an opportunity he takes lightly.

“I am excited about becoming a pioneer in the newest branch of the U.S. military,” he said. “The opportunity to contribute in the very beginning stages of development is once in a lifetime, and I did not want to miss it. I am also excited to create a unique, but familiar, military culture within the U.S. Space Force. The feeling of exclusivity and special-mission focus is humbling and intense to say the least.”

Hareld said he first started the process for transferring by filling out an application.

“My job in the Air Force was one of the few selected to have the option to switch to the U.S. Space Force,” he said. “I submitted an application to transfer, which was accepted after review of my records, such as performance history, experience and recommendations.”\

Over his last 11 years in the Air Force, Hareld has been a computer technician as an airman, a Department of Defense courier as staff sergeant, a high frequency radio operator as tech sergeant, and now a test manager in the arc heater test facility as second lieutenant at Arnold.

“I will promote to first lieutenant in September of this year, and once I depart this base in the fall of 2022, I will head to a space-centric assignment where, as far as I know, I will be performing my core duty as an acquisitions manager,” he said.

Hareld added that he would not be as confident in going after new opportunities if it wasn’t for the support of his friends and family.

“All of my friends and my family have been so extremely supportive of my career choices,” he said. “The transition to the Space Force is a pivotal move in my career, and they are eager to become part of it right alongside me. Everyone is ready to sport the U.S. Space Force apparel and proud to say they know a Guardian first-hand.

“I would like to recognize each and every person who has supported, believed in and guided me along the way. Without their encouragement, I would not have had so many amazing opportunities. Each of them have contributed in landing me smack dab in the middle of making U.S. military history.”

But no matter which uniform he is wearing, Hareld mentioned that serving his country is his number one priority.

“The opportunity to serve our country is a blessing. Airman or Guardian, I am proud to represent, support and defend this great country. I am a patriot through and through, and serving in the military is a both a privilege and an honor.”