My initial plan for my final National Military Appreciation Month Blog Takeover was to have my son, Matty, announce to the world his upcoming adventure. However, since the 6TH Of May was his official last day of McQuaid, his writing capabilities have diminished faster than a vacation tan. Since I have extra writing time on my hands, I’m happy to oblige. Cue the proud Parent spotlight...
In December of 2021, Matty decided he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Air Force. So many emotions. Selfishly I’ve only had 3 Christmas’, 2 & ½ ish, (Thanks COVID!) school years of packing lunches and walking to the bus stop, 2 Birthdays, and 1 Family Vacation with this boy! Not enough time! However..what a fantastic door to open for your future. So. Proud.
As the chain of events unfolded, it started on the 18TH Of January when Matty took the practice Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery or ASVAB. The ASVAB, by definition, is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military. I have read that each and every single year it is administered to more than one million individuals.
He scored a 49 out of 50.
The following month, on the 12TH Of February, Matt and I headed to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station for his monthly dues, this time, with Matty in tow. Not quite literally, now that he had his own car this was his 1ST ‘long’ road trip. Nothing says sink or swim like assuring a new driver he’ll be “just fine” driving over the Grand Island Bridges which most experienced drivers hate. Base time is cherished time. While the Chief works, Mrs. Chief writes. This is why those of you reading this right now get the pleasure or the pure disdain of hearing my words through the screen. You’re welcome. It’s even more cherished shared with the ones we love. While Matt and I did our thing, Matty was in an off-base hotel, traveling to base to go through the Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS. This is where he took the actual ASVAB.
He scored 25 points above average.
Yes, you read that correctly. 25 points above average. He passed his physical. Then, surprisingly, he passed his psychological exam. Back to the 25 points above average.. With a score like this Matty was told he could choose up to 10 of ANY single one of the 135 Air Force jobs, including the 13 Space Force jobs. Yes, the Space Force is real. It’s real, and it’s the future. Matty chose his 10, all Space Force, including Space Systems Operator, Targeting Analysis, Radio Frequency Transmission Systems, and Cyber Surity. He then swore into the Delayed Entry Program. Then we waited. The anticipation and excitement as thick as a humid morning in Disney. Yes Matty scored well, BUT, the Space Force only accepts 400 applications each year. We were told that we would not hear anything until the panel of Space Force Officers met sometime in May.
Imagine our surprise when on the 23RD Of April, Matty’s recruiter called and said, not only did the panel already look over his application but approved it with a “High Recommend.” He was exactly what they are looking for.
Since then, in true military fashion, it’s been hurry up & wait. Depending on which opening they have he will leave on The 5TH Of July or The 30TH Of August. In the meantime, Matt & Matty practice running and lifting while I sit back and write. Matty attends his Delayed Entry Program Meetings. Me.. I just cherish each moment while I can, and I plan. Plan for our upcoming travels to Basic Training Graduation, and Technical School Graduation… and wherever else need be. I have my own mission, and that’s to continue to create memories through family holidays and vacations. Stay tuned for a follow-up Blog my friends.
Blog Takeover: Chief Master Sergeant Matthew C. Clancy
I knew at an early age that I wanted to serve. I grew up looking at and playing with my father's old Air Force uniforms as a child. My father served four years during the Vietnam War. As I grew up and started asking questions about his time in the AF, he didn’t really give me much information but he never spoke negatively about his experience. I did get out of him that he was stationed in Japan for a few years. My father's older brother did a stint in the US Army and played on the Army’s baseball team. I also had an Uncle in the Army who was on Active Duty and retired while I was in Junior High. Another influential person in my decision to join was my brother Chuck who was on Active Duty in the Air Force for as long as I could remember and who would end up staying in 25 plus years and retiring as Lt. Colonel. I grew up with a lot of family that I looked up to that happened to be in the Military and I can’t deny that that probably had a large influence on my joining. Another influence was the Gulf War and my brother being deployed overseas during it. Following him during that time just pushed me more toward Military life and seeing the world.
Also, from a young age, I knew that I wanted to be in some kind of Law Enforcement career.
So that being said, you can’t be a cop at the age of 18 in the Civilian world but you sure can be one in the Military. So after plenty of research and a trip to two Air Force Bases and one Army Fort, I decided to join the United States Air Force. So in March of 1995, I convinced my parents to sign my seventeen-year-old self up for enlistment in the Air Force as a Combat Arms Instructor, which fell under the Security Forces Squadrons.
I shipped out to BMT in July of 1995 just one month after graduating from High School. I knew I wanted to serve and as a kid, you think you might do twenty but I had no idea at that time. I’ll spare you and not list everything here. But I ended up staying on Active Duty for eleven years. During those eleven years, I served as Combat Arms Instructor (Weapons Instructor), Military Working Dog Handler (K-9), and Technical School Instructor at Lackland AFB Texas. Along the way, I was stationed at several bases, deployed overseas, and completed a one-year remote tour to Honduras.
I decided to leave active duty to move back home and become a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy like my brother. I still wanted to serve my Country so I transferred to the Air Force Reserves, out of Niagara Falls ARS. While in the reserves I fulfilled both of my passions. I was now a police officer and still able to serve my Country. I wore several different hats during my reserve time. I went back to my original job of being a CATM Instructor. I then moved up the ranks to leadership roles which included being in charge of Range operations during drill, being the Superintendent of the Range and Security Forces Supply sections and then the culmination was being promoted to E9/Chief Master Sergeant where I had the privilege and honor of serving as the Security Forces Manager. And finally, 27 years later in June of 2022, I will be retiring from the United States Air Force. Still wanting to serve but knowing that it’s time to step away and focus on family and my last remaining years at the Sheriff’s office.
I’ve always wanted to serve and follow in the footsteps of the Clancy’s before me. I always have had a calling and desire to serve my country through Military service. I believe that I have served honorably and made my family and Country proud.
I am even more proud to say that my son will not only be following in my footsteps but rather surpassing them, as he has been accepted into the Space Force, a spot reserved for only 400 applicants a year.
Blog Takeover: Jeff S.
As I went through high school it became clear that college was not the right path for me. I enlisted in the Coast Guard delayed entry program the summer before my senior year of high school. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to spend the next 22 years of my life serving. I still remember pulling into boot camp on the bus the first day and wondering why I signed up for this. The responsibilities I was given and the places I got to see were life changing. I was really into weightlifting throughout high school, but do not think I ever ran over a mile at a time. The amount of running and calisthenics in boot camp was a shock to say the least. While I was in I continued to lift and would do the PT test every six months to keep up my certifications. I never did really anything that was above and beyond. I would always scrape by on the PT tests, never blowing them out of the water. It was not until about four years, at the age of 38, that I started taking exercising seriously. I now work out six days a week and have even participated in some competitions. I probably have worked out more the past couple of years than I have my entire life. It is now routine for me and I have never felt better both physically and mentally. I wish I would have started on this journey sooner. I retired from the Coast Guard Reserves about two years ago and am loving semi-retired life.
Blog Takeover: Rick B., Fairport
I joined the military in part to honor my Dad’s legacy and also to be able to say that ‘I, too, did my part’. The Army was one way I learned the importance of fitness. At an impressionable age I remember one of my drill sergeants saying if I don’t take time for my fitness, my body will force me to make time for my illness.
Having twins and working in emergency services severely challenged my ability to balance my time. I let fitness slide and as a result, I suffered a back injury that I’m still recovering from.
Thankfully, with some coaching assistance, I’m back to working out and making progress in the fitness department. It’s a daily battle and I’m thankful I can again pick up my children for an ‘upstairs hug’ and hold them tight.
No matter your stage in life or injury setbacks, anyone can make progress and improve their fitness.
I did. And I’m still doing.
Blog Takeover: Petty Officer Buck, Scottsville, NY
I graduated high school in 1989. My intention was to go to college following high school graduation, but I didn't know how to make that happen. No one in my family had gone to college so this was uncharted territory for me with little support to make it happen. After working 3 jobs for a year, I knew I had to do something to better my life. That's when I looked into joining the military. I entered the United States Navy on September 11th, 1990. I had no idea just how instrumental this journey would be in forming the person I am today.
Not only did the Navy provide the financial means for me to go to college, it allowed me to believe in myself. I was a very average student in high school. My home life was, well, not good, and I didn't have the support to be successful. Through my military training, I learned that I could accomplish most anything that I put my mind to and worked hard for it. This includes acing exams in my trade school and passing physical fitness tests. I was not an athletic kid and was actually quite overweight. It was the military that sparked my love for physical fitness.
I was on active duty until September 1994, then stayed on as a reservist for an additional 10 years. I went on to earn my degree in Veterinary Medicine and have been practicing for 17 years. I would never have accomplished this without the Navy. To this day, I still say that joining the military was the best choice I have ever made in my life.
If you are one of my many newsletter recipients then you know that EVERY Month has a theme. Not a recipient? We can change that.. click here and scroll to the bottom. March was National Nutrition Month, April was Stress Awareness Month, you get the idea, and May is Military Appreciation Month. I have never been so excited for a month. As I sat down to begin planning my marketing and social media campaign it quickly morphed into a mini hall of fame. Being an Air Force Wife AND **NEW ANNOUNCEMENT** Space Force Mom, I had to make sure to spread the wealth and reach out to various clients and friends that served in other branches. I am so fortunate to know so many amazing service men & women that I thought.. what a fabulous opportunity to highlight some of them and their achievements. I am SO excited to share some stories and pictures with you.. make sure to check back each week! ..and feel free to share!
Ajia Clancy coaches YOU to self empowerment while helping you navigate life towards your health & wellness goals.