military appreciation: air force
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.
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