JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. , Jan. 31, 2020 —
What is your full name, job title and unit?
Michael Parker Harrington, Ceremonial Guardsman, United States Air Force Honor Guard.
What's your hometown city and state (and country, if not U.S.)?
Why did you decide to serve in the military?
I wanted something exciting and new in my life. I had lived in Tennessee my whole life and never really traveled too far. I saw the Air Force as a chance to better my life and start a new adventure at the same time.
How do you think your job impacts the wing’s mission?
The USAF Honor guard’s missions can have a great variety in the duty that Guardsmen perform on any given day. Whether it is honoring a fallen Airmen at Arlington National Cemetery, a Drill team performance, or a joint service mission at the White House, there always seems to be a spotlight on us. I believe that being in such a visible job so often gives the Honor Guard the ability to shape the publics’ perception or the Air Force as a whole to one that shows discipline and dedication.
What's been your favorite assignment/TDY and why?
My favorite TDY was to Tucson, Arizona. My wife, and I had the opportunity to be a part of a parade in front of her family. It was also the first time meeting some of her extended family and was a great way to make a first impression.
What is your dream assignment and why?
I would be excited to be assigned to any base in Europe. I think being able to experience so many different cultures in such a close proximity to each other would be an amazing experience.
What's the coolest thing you’ve done in the military?
The Honor Guard provides us with so many incredible opportunities to travel or meet talented people. I have been fortunate to be a part of some of those missions but the coolest thing I get to do is be a part of Firing Party in Arlington National Cemetery. It is our primary mission for the Honor Guard and most weeks are honoring those that have served four days a week. Being able to honor those that dedicated their lives is something special.
What hobbies do you have/what do you do in your spare time?
Most of my spare time I spend with my wife and try to take full advantage of all the experiences in the D.C area.
Biggest challenge you’ve faced in your life?
I feel that I have lived a fortunate life so far and I try to stay on the positive side of things. The most difficult this was losing my mother in elementary school and having to find my way as a young boy. Thankfully I had a great family around me and we all helped each other.