United States Air Force

Service Reflections of TSgt Michael Sr. Marushia, U.S. Air Force (1984-2005)


The following Reflections represents TSgt Michael Sr. Marushia’s legacy of his military service from 1984 to 2005. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE.

Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force.

I was in a dead-end job with a young family and needed to get away from depending on others to help take care of us. My father was an AF veteran, and I grew up in a heavy military, primarily in the Navy area, so choosing which service to join me was easy.

Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?

After BMTS (May 20 – July 3, 1984), I completed Law Enforcement Technical Training at Lackland AFB. I arrived at my first duty station, Columbus AFB, MS, in September 1984, where I worked gates, flight line security, and base patrol. In the fall of 1985, I spent 6 weeks attending ABGD Level 1 training at Camp Bullis, TX. We PCS’d to Ankara in Jan 1986, where, as an A1C, I became the Day Shift Desk Sergeant. In April 86, I was selected as the squadron Airman of the Quarter, and in May 86, I was selected for promotion to SrA Below the Zone. I was promoted to Sergeant in August 1987, and on Jan 1, 1988, I sewed on Staff Sergeant. Four days later, I PCS’d to the 3700 SPS at Lackland, where I worked Flight until I was deployed as part of the 44-man team sent to Taif, KSA, for Desert Shield/Storm. Upon our return, I worked Pass and ID, then as the Unit Scheduler, Trainer, Computer Systems Manager, Resource Protection Specialist, and finally, NCOIC, Resource Protection. While at Lackland, in Feb 1997, I led a 13-man team on a TDY assignment to assist with providing security for USAF KC-10 aircraft and other assets at Al Dhafra AB in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In the fall of 1997, I decided to separate under a Palace Chase assignment in Jan 98 and was assigned as an IMA at the 1 SFS at Langley AFB. I was assigned to Bravo Flight and was later promoted to TSgt. I was mobilized to active duty for 18 months after 9/11. I was demobilized in April 2003 and remained an active reservist until retirement in February 2005.

If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which made a lasting impact on you and, if life-changing, in what way?

On Guard at King Fahad AB, Taif KSA

As part of Operation Desert Shield, I was deployed as part of a 44-man QFEBC team in August 1990. We were sent to Dharan, KSA, where we remained for 4 days until it was decided to move us to Taif AB, KSA. Our mission was ABGD for a large KSA F-15 airbase that was being occupied by EF and F-111s from Canon and Lakenheath. We remained there through the transition into Desert Storm. Though Intel had it that we were probed often, we didn’t see any action at the base, and we did suffer the loss of two pilots in a training accident. We redeployed in April 1991.

In Feb 1997, I was sent as the team leader to Al Dhafra AB with a 13-man team, where we provided security for several KC-10 tankers from McGuire and Travis. I served as the NCOIC of pretty much everything except Operations and had to make monthly trips to PSAB for training and supplies and to courier documents back to the site. I did respond to and assist at the crash of a UAE Mirage 2000 jet at the end of one of the runways. I was also fortunate enough to be able to fly on a KC-10 refueling mission over Iraq, where the boom operator allowed me to assist in refueling some F-16s.

Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which was your least favorite?

ALS Distinguished Graduate 1986

My favorite duty station was Ankara Air Station, Turkey, where I served from January 86 to January 88. I got there as an E-3 with less than 2 years of service. I departed 2 years later as an E-5 after 3 promotions (including one below the Zone), winning multiple awards, and being recognized as an outstanding performer at the base. In short, I had a blast over there (most of the time) even though after an attempted attack on our off-base Officers Club in retaliation for Operation El Dorado Canyon, we spent 63 days in 12-hour shifts without a day off. There were great times over there.

I went to Turkey from Columbus AFB, MS, my first duty station. I seriously disliked that place, but I did have some good friends there. Small unit, small town, about the only thing to do off-duty was drink or go fishing, and I didn’t drink enough to matter. A UPT base is not what one would call a “happening base,” as most of the students were too busy learning to fly to be stupid enough to engage us, cops.

For my ten years at Lackland, I give it an honorable mention. I love San Antonio, had a great run at Lackland, and visit whenever I can. Many, many good friends are still there that I love to see when I am in town.

What professional achievements are you most proud of from your military career?

My office

I was earning Distinguished Graduate from both the Airman Leadership and NCO Preparatory courses and being selected for Senior Airman Below-The Zone. I was selected as the TUSLOG-wide Law Enforcement Airman of the Year in 1986. Making SSgt the first time I tested. Being part of the QFEBC Team deployed to Taif AB, KSA, where all members of the 48th TFW (P), to which we were assigned, were awarded the Outstanding Unit Award with Valor for our participation in Desert Shield/Storm. Being selected as the Team Leader for the 13-man team, I led over to Al Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and all I accomplished while there. Last but not least, I served as an assistant Flight Chief while mobilized to Active after 9/11, occasionally being the on-duty Flight Chief responsible for the overall security and protection of HQ ACC/Langley AFB’s personnel, infrastructure, assets, and operations while on duty.

From your entire military service, describe any memories you still reflect on to this day.

TUSLOG SP LE AoY w/MG Scheidt and Capt Harris

Whoa, there are way too many memories to list them all, but here are a few. At Columbus: My friends Billy, Buddy, and Randy are at Columbus. Fishing the Tombigbee. Red Flag exercises. My daughter was born at the base hospital at 3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day after I had been relieved of my gate 15 minutes earlier and been back there an hour later. Sgt Craig Campbell. Six weeks of hell at Bullis. At Ankara: All 42 of us in the squadron. Making BTZ and SSgt in 42 months of total active service. Town patrol at night, when you could eat at 2 a.m. at a restaurant in Ulus. I woke up one morning to two Mike and Howie at the foot of my bed, in helmets and flack vests, telling me to get up and go because the O’Club had just been attacked. The Red Parrot Disco. Going to Istanbul with Roger Flener

At Lackland: My divorce. Hospital Security at Big Willy. Taif. Al Dhafra. PSAB. Completing the TX Peace Officer Course, getting a part-time job with the Somerset PD, and becoming a member and eventually Chief of the Northwest VFD. Mike, Eric, John, Dave, Karen, Robin, Mark, Brian, Vinnie, and Lt. Col John Medina, the best CC I ever had. At Langley: Twelve-hour nights with the Army and National Guard guys after 9/11. Base Patrols and Flight Chiefin’. Flight parties, bus rides to the range at Ft Eustis, and all the friends I made there and everywhere.

Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or other memorabilia, which one is the most meaningful to you and why?

My Security Police shield. It, along with my beret, defined who I was, who I represented, and the fact that I lived and was looked upon with a higher standard than everyone else. I may not have flown jets, rescued downed pilots, or commanded wings, but I had one of the most important jobs in the Air Force.

Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?

Former unit mates at 3700 SPS, Lackland AFB TX

That’s a difficult question to answer, as there were many who influenced me and guided me when I started to wander off the path. TSgt Martin at Columbus. SSgt Bailey in Ankara. Too many to list in my 10 years at Lackland. I thank them all.

Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?

My QFEBC was conducting a training exercise on the Medina Annex. We had just come in from the field and had met in a clearing in the woods for a final debrief before we trucked back to the armory to turn in weapons. The Flight Commander, Major Smith, decided he needed to visit a port-a-potty at the meeting place, which was immediately adjacent to where we were in loose formation. One of the Squad Leaders at TSgt Select decided he was going to be funny and tied off a booby trap simulator to the outside of the port-a-potty while the Major was inside. A number of us tried to talk him out of it, but he thought it would be a funny joke.

Well, when the Major opened the door, and it popped, it was as if Satan himself was coming out of that john. He screamed at the formation, put us at attention, and grilled us to find out who the wise guy was. Of course, Tech Select had to fess up. The flight paid for it for the rest of that day, and Tech Select damn near lost his line number. Gotta admit, though, it was funny as hell then, and it still makes me and everyone else that was there that day (except the Major) laugh whenever we talk about it.

What profession did you follow after your military service, and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?

Strangely enough, after separating in 1998, I became a Product Support Rep for Canon, troubleshooting and doing over-the-phone repairs on their line of printers, fax machines, Multipass units, and digital cameras. After two years of that, I went back into public safety as a 911 dispatcher for the Fairfax County PD’s Public Safety Communications Center. I stayed there until I was recalled to active duty, and upon demobilization, I returned, only to leave two months later to take my current position. From May 2003 until Jun 2014, I worked for First Data Corporate Security, primarily as a Physical Security Manager. I also assisted with credit card theft and fraud investigations, working my way up to a Regional Manager and then interim Director of Security. After leaving FDC, I went to work for Allied Barton Security Services, which eventually became Allied Universal Security, as the Contract Security Manager for a small chain of Hospitals in my local area. I left AU in October 2019 for a position as Security Manager for an affluent bayside retirement community in my hometown. In April 2020, I left that position, and due to COVID and personal commitments to my family, I retired to become a full-time stay-at-home dad to my teenage son, who had transitioned into virtual schooling due to COVID. I have been busy as the Post Adjutant for my local VFW Post since 2010, as the Secretary of the Board with the USAF Police Alumni Association and Foundation since 2014, and as a member of the Mustang Club of Tidewater, having joined in 2019, served as VP in 2022, and currently as President since Jan 2023 and into 2024.

What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?

Post Adjutant at VFW Post #392

I’m a life member and the Post Adjutant at VFW Post #392 here in Virginia Beach. I’ve also been the post webmaster for the past couple of years, responsible for maintaining the post’s website. I genuinely enjoy the camaraderie there and have gotten to know my fellow service members from all the different branches, whose service spans WWII through the current and ongoing operations in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career? What do you miss most about your time in the service?


Absolutely. Over the years, I’ve learned, mostly from experience, how to and how not to treat people, how to manage the good, bad, and ugly, how to bite my tongue without a chunk of it falling off, how to be fair but firm, and how to put my differences aside when working with people I really didn’t care for towards a common goal.

Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Air Force?

BMT Photo

GET YOUR DEGREE, and I don’t mean just an AA from the CCAF. Get a Bachelor’s from a reputable college or university. It’s a hell of a lot easier while on AD than afterward. You’re going to need it to advance while in the service, and once you get out, those skills and that paper gives you an advantage. Otherwise, pay attention. Learn people management skills from your superiors and peers. You’re going to need those too!!

In what ways has togetherweserved.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.

Between serving as a repository for my AF career and a place to reconnect with old friends and squadron mates, it’s been great to be able to document my service here on TWS.

Boot Camp, Units, Combat Operations

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Tags: 9/11, Al Dhafra AB, Allied Barton Security Service, CCAF, Columbus AFB, Distinguished Graduate, Operation Desert Shield, Operation El Dorado Canyon, Outstanding Unit Award, Security Police shield, TWS


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