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21st SFS stands up Elite Guard Flight

21st SFS member stands at attention

Staff Sgt. Shane Gale, 21st Security Forces Squadron elite guardsman, stands at attention during the unveiling of the 21st SFS Elite Guard Section Oct. 20, 2020. The new section was presented to Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations. Raymond emphasized the importance of their duties in protecting the base, providing a professional image and unmatched customer service. Members of the Elite Guard Section will be posted at all installation gates and will be distinguished by a brassard and ascot combination. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Bertain)

21st SFS members stands at attention

Airman 1st Class Keila Falcon, 21st Security Forces Squadron elite guardsman, stands at attention during the unveiling of the 21st SFS Elite Guard Section Oct. 20, 2020. The new section was presented to Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, with the purpose of providing professional customer service while enhancing the installation’s integrated defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Bertain)

21st SFS members stands at attention

Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, speaks to the 21st Security Forces Squadron during a visit to meet the Airmen of the new Elite Guard Section Oct. 20, 2020, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. In 1957, the first Elite Guard stood up for Strategic Air Command Headquarters with the purpose of providing professional customer service while enhancing the installation’s integrated defense. Raymond emphasized the importance of their duties in protecting the base, providing a professional image and unmatched customer service. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Bertain)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, visited the 21st Security Forces Squadron Oct. 20, to meet the squadron’s new Elite Guard Flight, a first for USSF. Raymond emphasized the importance of their duties in protecting the base, providing a professional image and unmatched customer service. 

At the 21st SFS, Elite Guards will be posted from 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. at all installation gates and will be distinguished by a brassard and ascot combination. The ascots bear the delta design of the U.S. Space Force, a symbol of the operations they support.

Tech. Sgt. Angela Zuniga, 21st SFS Elite Guard noncommissioned officer in charge, was key to the development and launch of the Elite Guard Flight and diligently built the one-of-a-kind program. Zuniga’s vision of the Elite Guard is to “cultivate professional, knowledgeable and proficient Airmen specializing in installation access control while securing Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.” 

However, the Elite Guard is more than a specialized unit that focuses on providing a more professional and efficient gate experience. The NCOs assigned to the Elite Guard also drive a deliberate development and mentorship program, custom designed for each member assigned to the Elite Guard.  Staff Sgt. Richard Chevalier, one of four Flight Sergeants leading the Elite Guard, mentors five subordinates assigned through both on and off duty challenges.

 “Leading these Airmen has been a rewarding and unique challenge,” said Chevalier. “Every day I find myself facilitating discussions on ethics, Air Force policy and numerous serious topics from job knowledge to communication skill. I encourage my Airmen to think outside of the box and present their ideas to me with the issues at hand instead of looking to me for answers. This gives me a chance to really understand and develop the Airmen’s process of thinking and problem solving, while building their confidence and comfortability making decisions,”

The Elite Guard has a rich heritage, dating back to 1957 when Gen. Curtis LeMay stood up an Elite Guard to provide specialized security support to Strategic Air Command Headquarters.

Airman 1st Class William Castrovince, an Elite Guardsman from North Port, Florida, with just a year in the Air Force, describes being a member of the first Elite Guard section supporting the USSF as “a great opportunity for development and networking. I realize how much history is behind being an Elite Guard, which makes doing the job even better.”

Under the careful watch of the Elite Guard, the men and women working on Peterson AFB and Cheyenne Mountain AFS can work and reside on base safely knowing they are well defended.  

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