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Face of Defense

"Face of Defense," a news feature published Monday through Friday, highlights a personal story behind people who serve the nation.

Senior Master Sgt. Tabatha King, newly selected Chief enlisted manager of the 178th Communications Flight, left, and Master Sgt. Tammy Remley, Senior NCO in charge of inspections with the 178th Inspector General Office, pose for a photo April 26 at Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base in Springfield, Ohio. King and Remley are identical twins and have been serving together in the Ohio Air National Guard at the 178th Wing for 19 years.
Air Guard Twins Serve Together for Nearly 20 Years Serving in the Air National Guard can oftentimes be a family tradition. Many people follow in the footsteps of their grandparents, parents or siblings, and sometimes serve alongside them.

Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Stepan, a recruiter with the El Paso Recruiting Company, helps Army Reserve Spc. Alexis Chacon, a human resources specialist with the 77th Quartermaster Group, as she works as a hometown recruiter at the Zaragoza Recruiting Station in El Paso, Texas, June 11, 2018. Chacon was taking part in the Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program, which places enlisted soldiers who have recently completed initial entry training at a recruiting station in their home towns to share their Army training experiences with family, friends, high school classmates, future soldiers, veterans and community leaders. Army photo by Maj. Brandon R. Mace
Reservist Returns to Help Hometown Recruiters Army Spc. Alexis Chacon was excited to help the recruiters in her home town and participated in the Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program. The program allows enlisted soldiers who have recently completed initial entry training to return to their home towns to assist recruiters by sharing their Army training experiences.

Airman 1st Class Kornkawee Rue Art, 23d Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, poses for a photo, March 21, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. After spending 18 years as a monk, Rue Art traded his robes for a uniform, in his continual pursuit of a life bigger than himself; one of meaning and purpose. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt)
Former Monk Trades Robes for Air Force Uniform After spending 18 years as a Thai Buddhist monk, Air Force Airman 1st Class Kornkawee Rue Art traded his robes for a uniform in his continual pursuit of a life bigger than himself; one of meaning and purpose.

Marine Corps Capt. George Jones, the current operations officer for 3rd Marine Division, stands in front of his work building at Camp Courtney, Japan, April 18, 2018. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Carl King
West Africa Native Fulfills Dream in Marine Corps In 2002, Marine Corps infantryman Sgt. George Jones told an interviewer that his dream was to retire as an officer in the Marine Corps. Jones, a Liberia native, had by then survived a civil war in his home country, emigrated to the U.S. and joined what he called, “The best looking service in the world.”

Army Sgt. Maj. Seretta Lawson poses for a photo at the Oklahoma National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters in Oklahoma City, May 7, 2018. Lawson, assigned as the sergeant major for the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s military personnel section at the Joint Force Headquarters, is the first African-American female sergeant major in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Oklahoma National Guard photo by Army Maj. Geoff Legler
Oklahoma Soldier Makes History Army Sgt. Maj. Seretta Lawson, assigned as the sergeant major for the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s military personnel section at the Joint Force Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is the first African-American female sergeant major in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

Staff Sgt. Megan Corker records take-off and landing data after her final check ride, May 16, 2018. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jessica Condit
Airman Excels at Flight Engineer Schoolhouse Air Force Staff Sgt. Megan Corker is in training to be an Air Force flight engineer, which is an enlisted member of a flight crew who monitors and operates the complex systems in an aircraft.

Army 2nd Lt. Liliana Chavez poses in front of a helicopter at McAllen International Airport, Texas, April 24, 2018. Chavez, who grew up in humble circumstances, today flies UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-72A Lakota helicopters for the Texas Army National Guard. Army photo by 1st Lt. Nadine Wiley De Moura
Army National Guard Pilot Defies Limits An aeromedical evacuation officer who flies UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-72A Lakota helicopters for the Texas Army National Guard says her accomplishments are far beyond what her 6-year-old self could have imagined.

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Scott Michael Dahn and Ching-Yi Sze pose for a photo in Okinawa, Japan, May 24, 2018. Dahn rescued Ching-Yi while she was scuba diving at Okinawa’s Maeda Point, May 20, 2018. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Andrew Neumann
Marine Saves Scuba Diver in Okinawa Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dahn was practicing rescue diving at Maeda Point when he saw the woman start to panic. The expert Marine Corps diver came to the rescue of the woman from Hong Kong who was scuba diving on her honeymoon in Okinawa, Japan.

Army Spc. Andre Smith, 787th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, applies finishing touches to a howitzer he painted in front of the Task Force Grizzly headquarters at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 22, 2018. Task Force Grizzly provides sustainment support to U.S. and coalition forces in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Army photo by Capt. Brian Hare
Soldier Uses Artistic Skills for Mission Success Task Force Grizzly immediately began projects to make aesthetic enhancements to the buildings they inherited at Camp Taji, to display a sense of pride in their mission. One of the soldiers turned to Army Spc. Andre Smith, a tactical power generation specialist known throughout the unit for his creativity and artistic ability.

Air Force Capt. Joshua Gradaille shows a practice ball to one of his players before putting it in a pitching machine at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 10, 2018. Gradaille, the executive officer of the base’s 33rd Fighter Wing, enrolled his son in baseball when he was five years old to instill the many life lessons he feels team sports offer a child. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson
Youth Baseball Coach Makes a Difference Air Force Capt. Joshua Gradaille said he enjoys “having a personal connection and bonding with the kids” as part of his volunteer service as a children’s baseball coach. Gradaille, the 33rd Fighter Wing’s executive officer, said he also appreciates “being able to connect and see them have those ‘aha’ moments while they are progressing.”