SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Service can take on many forms, but for one Joint Task Force-Space Defense member it included several uniforms when transferred to his third service in October.
Maj. Darrell Glover, Requirements, Architectures and Analysis Division chief, first entered military service more than 20 years ago when he enlisted in the Army, in what is today combat communications. The Modesto, Calif., native fulfilled his dream of world travel but was only able to deploy once to Kosovo.
After completing his service commitment in 2003, Glover returned to California where he and his then fiancé hit the books at college.
“About halfway through my degree, I started to miss the comradery and considered returning to the service,” he said. “I was seeing my friends deploy and realized I missed the military lifestyle and the uniqueness of what we do.”
The now married Glover joined Fresno State’s Air Force ROTC program with the intent of becoming a pilot. He completed a three week summer introduction to flying program and was hooked.
“My wife questioned the decision,” he said. “I was surprised too that I gravitated toward that but she likes travelling and was on board.”
Glover was selected for pilot training and headed off to training in Texas.
“I was about a third of the way through and realized I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I thought I would,” he said. “So I asked to do something else and I got my first choice of space and missile operations.”
Glover completed training at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., before heading off to Malmstrom AFB, Mont. During this assignment, he met one of his three military mentors.
“Now Col. Todd Sauls showed me you can do well by doing your job well and not just trying to check boxes,” said Glover. “He made me feel like it was OK to manage my career by doing what makes me happy and serving the Air Force.”
Around this time the Air Force started separating the space and missile specialty codes into two separate career fields. Glover was among the last group given the choice of which one they wanted to continue to serve and Glover chose space.
“I felt like space had more that aligned with my interests and so I wanted to try it, if I didn’t like it I figured I could always try something else,” which Glover said has been his motto throughout his time in all three services.
Glover’s first space assignment was at Schriever AFB, where he supported the 11th Space Warning Squadron and the Space Based Infrared System.
“I loved it. It started off rough coming from the highly structured, defined missile operations to space but we worked through that and I felt like I was able to leave the unit better than I found it,” he said.
From there, Glover transitioned to Thule Air Base, the U.S. Space Force’s northernmost installation.
“It was like ‘Groundhog’ week every week but I loved the mission,” he said. “The family separation was hard, harder on my wife who was taking care of everything including our four children but it was a good assignment.”
During this assignment, Glover worked with his second mentor Lt. Col. David Ransom, then 12th Space Warning Squadron commander, now assigned to Space Operations Command.
“He really helped me with my outlook on how to get things done,” Glover said. “You’re most productive when you enjoy what you’re doing.”
Ransom said Glover’s professionalism and ability to get things done are “truly remarkable.”
“He figures things out and creates results, plus he has a great sense of humor behind impeccable professionalism,” he said. “I would pick him on my team anytime in any situation, arctic mission zone, Iraq war zone, etc. I would even make sure I pick him first for [my] floor hockey team.”
From there the Glover family headed back to California to Beale AFB where he served as a detachment commander and then the director of operations at the 7th Space Warning Squadron.
Here his third military mentor also recognized his sense of humor and ability to get the job done.
“Major Glover is a dedicated space professional with the operational background that makes him invaluable for any team that he’s on,” said Lt. Col. Charles Sandusky, then 7th SWS commander now Delta 2 deputy commander. “[He brings] operational knowledge, dedication to the mission and people along with a great sense of humor!”
During this assignment, Glover’s then parent organization 21st Space Wing put out a call for pinned majors with radar experience to go to the National Space Defense Center.
“I’d heard of the NSDC but I had no idea what they did, so I thought I could try that,” he said.
He now works to on-board new capabilities in support of the organization’s protect and defend mission.
“We’re unique and doing different things and that’s growing as we onboard capabilities,” he said. “I am glad I came and tried it sight unseen.”
And when given the opportunity to take his commitment to space to another level, Glover joined the Space Force in October 2020.
“My uncle had a huge impact on me, hearing about his experiences in the service made me realize it was something I wanted to do,” he said. “Serving is a unique thing and such a small portion of our people serve. I think it’s important to give back, whether its four years or 20.”