Security forces defender follows in father's footsteps

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Josiah Meece
  • 116th Air Control Wing

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This is certainly the case with Tech. Sgt. Alan Glaze, noncommissioned officer in charge of combat arms with the 116th Security Forces Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard.

Glaze grew up in Warner Robins, where he attended Houston County High School. His father was an active-duty security forces defender with the 78th Air Base Wing at Robins AFB at the time.

Glaze’s family made a permanent change of station to F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, in 2000. His father retired from military service as a master sergeant in 2002 and the family eventually moved back to Warner Robins.

Still, there was something about his father’s job that struck a chord with Glaze.

“I would see my dad come back home with his gear,” Glaze said. “He did law enforcement and security. He deployed to Saudi Arabia, and he did a Korean tour when he first got in. Just seeing pictures, I thought it was pretty cool.”

Glaze had always wanted to be in the military, and that path would give him the opportunity to go to college. He decided security forces was the way to go. He joined the Georgia Air National Guard as a member of the 116th SFS in 2008, fresh out of high school, at the same base his father once served.

“My dad actually got upset when I told him that,” Glaze laughed. “He wanted me to go into sheet metal, or to learn a skill outside of law enforcement.”

Basic training was Glaze’s first experience shooting rifles. The explosion of the primers followed by the smell of gunpowder proved exciting, he shared.

After returning from basic training, Glaze served as a fire team member for four years. In 2013, he was at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, for a temporary duty — a base where his father had trained once before.

Glaze reminisced with him of how security forces training was like back then; the movements, the tactics, and the commands compared to today.

Glaze thought back to some of the other similarities he and his father share.

“We share an interest in fishing and sense of humor.” said Glaze. “I think I got my ‘go-with-the-flow’ attitude from him as well.”

When Glaze returned to Robins AFB, he heard of an opening to become a combat arms instructor. He began instructing in 2013, becoming the NCO in charge in 2015.

As a combat arms training and maintenance instructor, he is responsible for training Airmen in the 116th Air Control Wing how to properly utilize and maintain the weapons they will have during deployment.

“Well, it all started with the love of guns,” said Glaze. “I like instructing, and I like teaching people how to use them.”

While teaching wasn’t always a passion of his, teaching others how to safely clean, assemble, and use weapons, gradually grew.

One of Glaze’s primary duties is to teach 116th SFS defenders how to operate heavy weapons systems, including machine guns and grenade launchers, and conduct ‘shoot, move, communicate’ courses.

“When I teach Airmen, I want to make sure they have all of the information and training they need to be able to effectively use their weapon and ensure that everyone can make it back home safely,” said Glaze.

However, Glaze does not just teach the Air Guardsmen how to use these weapons and execute movements. He is also in charge of training and qualifying other instructors.

“When I teach instructors, I want to make sure they have the tools and knowledge to be able to train personnel to a higher standard,” said Glaze. “Once they are certified, they go out and teach the security forces flight.”

Glaze is currently finishing his degree in criminal justice. Once he has achieved that, he plans to continue his security forces career and may commission as an officer.

Glaze said he will go with the flow. After all, he says he gets that from his father.