Air Force

October 18, 2013

944th Airman has two careers, one love

Tags:
Staff Sgt. JOSH NASON
944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Brook, in his early years as a member of the Royal Air Force, left, and currently at Luke Air Force Base.

A 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron transportation manager has served more than 30 years in both active-duty and Reserve status in the U.S. Air Force but started his career with a stint in the Royal Air Force, the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces.

Born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, in 1959, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Brook is one of a small minority of Air Force reservists who were not born as U.S. citizens. He moved to the U.S. in his mid-20s.

It was early in life that military service peaked his interest. His father served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy when he was a young man and spoke fondly of his experience, but that wasn’t quite what drove the young Brook to service. It was a visit to his high school by the Royal Air Force Band that set in motion a military career spanning 37 years and counting.

Soon after his graduation from Dudderston Manor High School, Brook enlisted in the RAF as a vehicle operator. He served at RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, then on to Allied Forces Central Europe, a NATO base in Holland. There he met his wife Jackie, an American who was serving with the U.S. Army.

They were married in 1979 while both still serving at AFCENT. Jackie separated from the Army soon after and Brook was reassigned to RAF Honnington in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk County, England, where he finished out his RAF enlistment. In 1983 the couple moved to the U.S., but Brook wanted to continue his military service.

Working at AFCENT, Brook had a lot of exposure to how the U.S. Air Force operated. He and his wife decided that they would like to continue traveling and living the military lifestyle, so he enlisted in the Air force in 1983 and left for basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Brook’s first assignment was as a vehicle operator at the 832nd Transportation Squadron, Luke AFB.
“Joining the U.S. Air Force wasn’t a huge leap for me, as I had worked with them so much at AFCENT,” he said.

It was during an assignment back in England from 1985 to 1989 that he discovered he couldn’t re-enlist unless he became a U.S. citizen. He quickly complied.

“The citizenship office was impressed that I had travelled so far just to put in my application,” he said. “They expedited the process and within two days I was sworn in.”

Two assignments and nine years later the Brook family was back in Suffolk, this time stationed at RAF Mildenhall from 1998 to 2001. Fast forward another 12 years to July 2013 and he once again found himself at RAF Mildenhall, this time as a Reservist with the 944th LRS.

“I have had the chance to return to RAF Mildenhall while passing through on various deployments, but that was my first time back working in an official capacity,” he said. “The base has changed dramatically since 9/11.”

Even though the base may have changed, some of the faces remained the same.

“It was good seeing old friends and people I used work with, some of which had been promoted,” he said. “It was great to see them doing so well.”

Despite earning his U.S. citizenship more than 30 years ago, Brook’s English accent is still intact, as is his knowledge of all things England.

“I enjoy educating Americans about English customs,” Brook said. “From driving, to fish and chips, to how to drink ‘real’ beer, I enjoy it all. The key is staying open-minded about other cultures.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin