A longtime volunteer with the Maury County Fire Department is now a member of the newly established United States Space Force.
Josh Periut was recently commissioned into the United States Space Force as a 1st lieutenant after serving more than three years with the United States Air Force.
Periut is one of more than 2,400 active-duty Airmen in space operations (13S) and space systems operations (1C6) career fields that will transfer into the U.S. Space Force.
Josh and his wife Briana Jo Periut now live in Colorado with their young son.
After graduating from Maury County Public Schools, he studied biology at Middle Tennessee State University and remained and active volunteer in the Maury County Fire Department, before joining the United States Army.
He is no stranger to service coming from a family of dedicated emergency responders.
Periut is the son of the Maury County Fire Department’s Assistant Chief Jose Periut and volunteer firefighter Tracy Eddins Periut and the brother of Columbia Fire Department Captain Jose Periut Jr.
“We are very proud,” his father said, who is a career firefighter and also serves as a captain for the Franklin Fire Department in Williamson County.
In 2015, the now military leader was one of six local firefighters who were dispatched to South Carolina to assist the state as it struggled to manage severe floods.
Hurricane Joaquin combined with other storm systems to cause what was described as a “one-in-1,000-years flood,” by Maury County’s former director of emergency manager Mark Blackwood.
“I am very proud of both of them” he said of his sons. “Mom did a very good job. They are very smart and very much their own individuals. They are bound to do great things. Their opportunities are limitless I am very proud to be their father. The both have a life of service, serving their communities and their country.”
In the Space Force, Periut serves as a defense weapons officer and is scheduled to reach the rank of captain next year.
“We could not be prouder of one of our long time members, Josh Periut, who was commissioned into the United States Space Force,” the Maury County Fire Department said in a recent statement. “Please join us in congratulating 1st Lt. Periut for being selected for such a prestigious opportunity to serve on the ground floor of a new branch of the military.”
The Space Force commemorated the transfers with a virtual swearing-in ceremony Sept. 15 following live remarks from Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond during the Air Force Association’s Virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference. In addition to the ceremonial swearing-in, members can also opt for private events or participate in locally organized ceremonies.
“This is a momentous occasion for the Space Force and for each of these space professionals,” said Raymond. “We intend to give our newest Space Force members and their families the special recognition they deserve, while at the same time share this historic event with the American people.”
To officially transfer from one military service to another, a military member separates from the current service and commissions or enlists into the new service in their current rank.
On their official date of transfer, enlisted members will be administered the Oath of Enlistment and sign enlistment contracts into the Space Force. Officers will be administered the Oath of Office and sign official Space Force commissioning documents. Both officers and enlisted members will incur a minimum two-year active-duty service commitment in volunteering for the transfer.
“There has been substantial planning behind the scenes between Space Force and Air Force personnel to get us to this day,” said Patricia Mulcahy, deputy chief of space operations for personnel and logistics. “We understand the personal circumstances that influence a member’s decision to volunteer for transfer, and I am incredibly proud of the team’s thoughtfulness put into every decision to ensure we provide members with as seamless a transfer process as possible.”
The Space Force is the nation’s first new military branch in seven decades established in late 2019 by the Trump Administration to protect U.S. assets in space. President Donald Trump has pointed to threats from China and Russia and the nation’s reliance on satellites for defense operations as reasoning for the sixth military branch.
The president has said U.S. adversaries are targeting “Earth’s orbits with new technology and targeting American satellites,” USA Today reported earlier this year.
In January, Trump revealed the official logo for the new military branch. In May, he unveiled the new flag for the service.
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