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811th Airmen awarded VP Service Badge

The Vice Presidential Service Badge is awarded to Staff Sgt. Peter Velez, former 811 Security Forces Squadron NCO in-charge of vice presidential aircraft security, Staff Sgt. Leonard Antonio, 811 SFS vice presidential aircraft security team leader, Staff Sgt. Sorhaindo Peter, 811 SFS vice presidential aircraft security team leader, Senior Airman Albert Ritterbeck, 811 SFS vice presidential aircraft security team members at Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 21, 2015. Only 473 people have been awarded the VPSB since its establishment in July, 1970. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

The Vice Presidential Service Badge is awarded to Staff Sgt. Peter Velez, former 811 Security Forces Squadron NCO in-charge of vice presidential aircraft security, Staff Sgt. Leonard Antonio, 811 SFS vice presidential aircraft security team leader, Staff Sgt. Sorhaindo Peter, 811 SFS vice presidential aircraft security team leader, Senior Airman Albert Ritterbeck, 811 SFS vice presidential aircraft security team members at Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 21, 2015. Only 473 people have been awarded the VPSB since its establishment in July, 1970. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Four members of the 811th Security Forces Squadron have been awarded the Vice Presidential Service Badge for their mission support of the Vice President of the United States, May 21, 2015.

The badge was awarded to 811 SFS members Staff Sgt. Peter Velez, former NCO in-charge of vice presidential aircraft security, Staff Sgt. Leonard Antonio, vice presidential aircraft security team leader, Staff Sgt. Sorhaindo Peter, vice presidential aircraft security team leader, Senior Airman Albert Ritterbeck, vice presidential aircraft security team member.

"The 811th Security Forces Squadron is responsible for securing any aircraft transporting the Vice President of the United States," said Capt. David Nugent, 811 SFS operations officer. "Our Airmen secure Air Force Two all over the world. We're incredibly proud of their accomplishments and expect continued success in their careers."

The VPSB is awarded to members of the uniformed services, to include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time uniformed service aides to the Vice President. It was established under Executive Order by President Richard Nixon on July 8, 1970 and was modified by President Gerald R. Ford on July 19, 1976.

The VPSB is considered a permanent decoration and is authorized for continued wear throughout a uniformed service career, even when no longer directly serving the Vice President. The badge is very similar to the Presidential Service Badge, authorized for uniformed service personnel assigned to the staff of the President of the United States.

"This is something not all security forces will be able to get to do," said Tech. Sgt. Cody Stollings, 811 SFS NCO in-charge of vice presidential aircraft security. "No one in our unit has been given this badge in over two years, so this is a big deal for our defenders. It's a huge honor, not just because it is well deserved, but because only 473 people have earned this badge since its inception in the 70s. So, it's a small club to be a part of."