Written by Hannah Mladenovich
As the rapid development of technology continues to grow and expand yearly, so does the world around it. Looking back into history, 100 years ago we were not confident of the existence beyond our solar system; now, fast-forward to present-day, NASA is able to take the first set of high-resolution images of galaxies, stars, and planets millions of miles away at a record-breaking speed.
So, what does this mean? Well, for many service members, this includes transferring to a new and upcoming branch within the Military; Space Force. As we continue to progress as a society, we can better understand additional threats that may come our way including asteroids and debris and work to plan ahead to protect the world in and around our planet.
Service members nationwide, including Technical Sergeant Gonzalez-Parish, have taken on their own journey as they transition to this new and upcoming branch.
About Technical Sergeant Gonzalez-Parish:
Eduardo Gonzalez-Parish is a Technical Sergeant (TSgt) in the Space Force branch but has been serving in the military for over 15 years. His current position involves being the Executive Assistant for the Commanding Senior Enlisted Leader, Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt), Scott Stalker. TSgt Gonzalez-Parish supports the day-to-day tasks for MGySgt Stalker to further assist processes and consistency when the MGySgt is traveling or attending to larger, national duties.
Technical Sergeant Gonzalez-Parish joined the military 15 years ago to avoid his parents paying for his higher-level learning. “The deal coming out of high school was that I either find a job full-time or I go to school full-time” says Gonzalez, “and I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, so I didn’t want my parents to incur that debt due to me not being confident in what I wanted out of my future.” Gonzalez looked into the military shortly thereafter. Originally, he wanted to join the Navy, but after speaking with his uncle, he decided to join the Air Force. “I am actually very happy that I made that decision looking back,” Gonzalez mentions, “I have worked with a couple of other branches such as Army and Marines and seeing what they go through on a daily basis, really solidified my choice in the Air Force.”
During his time in the Air Force, Gonzalez was the front-line supervisor which serves as the go-to person for individuals on his team. When he advanced in rank to Technical Sergeant, his role served as the next step up in that communication command. However, Gonzalez mentions, “I probably went above and beyond in that role, since I would talk to both my airmen and my staff sergeants to ensure everything was going well, checking in, and ensuring everyone is taken care of.” Typically, in that chain of command a technical sergeant would only oversee the staff sergeants on his team. “I really care about my people,” says Gonzalez, “so if it means going above and beyond to ensure everyone is good and taken care of, I will do it a million times over.” Gonzalez spent much of his military career serving in the Air Force; it was just recently, within the last year, that he transitioned to the Space Force branch.
The Purpose of Space Force:
Marines and Army cover the land, Navy and Coast Guard cover the sea, and Air Force covers the air. “Space Force is just another step forward that we use to try to protect us from other external factors” says Gonzalez, “we have many different layers that make up our atmosphere that we have to monitor.” Gonzalez goes on to say, “Those barriers play a key part to help protect us from things such as asteroids, anti-satellite missile launches that are designed as a weapon to destroy satellites, and other technological advancements from countries looking to see how far their capabilities can go.” The Space Force branch is used as another layer to further help protect the United States from additional attacks or hindrances as the world of technology continues to progress. TSgt Gonzalez-Parish mentions “Our goal is to make sure that area is protected at all costs.”
The Key Differences between Air Force and Space Force:
With Space Force being so new, the two branches in a way blend and rely on each other for support. “Our force is smaller compared to other branches right now, so we don’t really have positions that are built for it.” says Gonzalez, “We can’t have our own security forces, medical staff, or additional personnel positions just due to the sheer size of our branch.” For this reason, Space Force works in close partnership with the Air Force to have access to those services as well as additional support and protection as a military branch.
Due to the newness of the branch, Space Force and Air Force are still learning where the line is drawn that divides the two branches. Gonzalez mentions “Space is obviously where Space Force will primarily focus itself; however, the Air Force has and currently covers Space as part of their protection. That will slowly move over to Space Force as time goes on. As the branch further develops, we will be able to see exactly where that line is drawn.”
Additional Space Force operations include GPS tracking, engineering global networks to test military capabilities both offensive and defensive, cyber protection, rocket launches and exploration, and intelligence. As the United States continues to navigate the vast unknown outside of our world, Space Force works as a crucial step and protection defense in that execution process.
Although the Space Force branch is new–it is growing rapidly as technology advances. Gonzalez mentions “There is space exploration going on every single day, regardless of how that looks. We (as a branch) are constantly monitoring and working alongside our government and NASA to help protect and defend our country against any and all external threats.”
Here at ZYN, we want to sincerely thank Technical Sergeant Gonzalez-Parish for his time and knowledge regarding the world of Space Force. We kindly thank TSgt Gonzalez-Parish for his service along with other service members past and presently serving.