Charles Allbritten wanted to serve his country, so joined the military as part of the Delayed Entry Program before he graduated from high school.
“My brother raised me and he asked what I wanted to do when I graduated,” Allbritten said. “I told him, ‘I’ve already got it figured out; I’m going to go into the Air Force,’ and he was pretty excited about that.”
The Cullman, Alabama, native chose the Air Force Security Forces after watching a video in the recruiter’s office. He recalled being “enamored” by the possibilities.
“Back then the career field was split — you had law enforcement activities and you had security specialist activities — I was a security specialist,” he said. “We were in charge of all air base defense and critical assets, such as aircraft, nuclear weapons and things of that nature. I protected priority resources.”
His first duty station was the original U.S. Space Command in Colorado and his second was the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Allbritten remembers both assignments fondly.
“I had a senior master sergeant who told us how important our mission was and for us to be focused on what we were doing, because it was amazing stuff,” he said. “I asked him, ‘Why would you give a dumb kid from Alabama so much responsibility for something like this?’ He just grinned and he said, ‘Because you’re trustworthy.’”
Allbritten served on Air Force active duty for six years and then went on to serve in the Air National Guard for eight more. He left the service in 2003 and worked as a contractor for a few years before becoming a Department of the Army civilian. He joined the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command in 2015, along with his wife Tanya, a 10-year Navy veteran who works in AMCOM G-1.
Allbritten still works in security. He is a security specialist with the Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions Project Office with Program Executive Office Missiles and Space.
After 14 collective years of military service and six years of civilian service, Allbritten appreciates his career and all of the advantages he had along the way.
“I didn’t have any bad assignments and was really blessed,” he said. “I got to see some really neat stuff and work around some extraordinary people. I could never pay the Air Force back for what they gave me. My service was very privileged.”