Academy grads share MTANG connections

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
The United States Air Force Academy Class of 2016 had its share of Montana Air National Guard family connections during the June 2 graduation ceremony.

Montana Air National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Bryan Fox and retired Chief Master Sgt. Laurie Fox's son, Greg; Tech. Sgt. Brenda Lorance's daughter and Senior Master Sgt. Gary Lorance's stepdaughter, Charlene; and Chief Master Sgt. Teresa Parker's daughter, Taylor, graduated from the military service academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The day before the academy graduation was also a memorable day for the Parker family as both Chief Parker and 2nd Lt. Parker had their respective stripes and bars placed on their uniforms.

Family members and friends attended the academy commissioning ceremony to watch the gold bars pinned to 2nd Lt. Parker's uniform.

Following the ceremony, newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Parker read the oath of enlistment to Chief Parker.

"The day I put on chief and she got pinned was on June 1st and graduation was June 2nd," Chief Parker said. "I gave her the first salute and she gave me her first coin, so that's pretty cool."

Service to the nation and patriotism runs deep in the chief's family, as Chief Parker said her father and brothers served in the United States Army.

Chief Parker enlisted into the Air Force in 1984 and has over 13 years of active duty experience. After the events of 9/11 and a five-year break in service she returned to wearing the uniform and joined the Air National Guard. She now serves as the material management flight chief for the 120th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Her daughter Taylor is the first in her immediate family to serve as an officer in the military.

A standout athlete in high school, Taylor was actively recruited by the Air Force Academy. She played volleyball through her senior year at the academy, when she also played basketball for the Falcons.

2nd Lt. Parker is currently stationed at Vandenburg Air Force Base, California and is scheduled to attend training in the missile officer career field.

Chief Parker said her daughter enjoys serving and may plan on making the Air Force a career.

In her mind right now she'll be in for at least 20 (years)," Chief Parker said. "It'll be awesome."

Chief Parker said she continues to carry her daughter's coin in her pocket each day as a tribute to her daughter.