Many faces of a Citizen Airman

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Blocker
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

To say that Staff Sgt. Bryan Randall is good at time management might be the understatement of the year.

Randall, a personnel specialist with the 434th Force Support Squadron, uses every bit of his time fulfilling his duties as a father, special agent for the United States government, play writer, graphic novel writer, and Airman.

The path to his success was not an easy one. With many trials and tribulations along his journey, this Detroit native had to learn that time was his greatest asset.

Randall started his military career at 17 when he enlisted in the Army. He wanted to escape a troubled childhood and move on to better things in his life and future. It didn’t take him long to realize that joining the military was his calling.

“I came in so young and I feel like the military is just a part of me,” said Randall. “I can’t let this go!”

Randall prides himself for never stopping until he is finished. The military gave so much to him, he wanted to return the favor.

“That just goes along with my character,” he said. “I will never stop going while I’m in the military and I will keep running until I am finished.”

In 2010, Randall joined the Air Force because he wanted a change in his life.

No matter what branch of service he was a part of, he credits discipline as making him a stronger individual.

“The military has become a part of my identity and whenever my enlistment time is running out, I know that I will be coming right back,” said Randall.

The military is not his only duty, Randall is also an agent for Homeland Security. He describes this job as humbling and rewarding.

“We are essentially the detectives of the government, if there is a violation of a crime then we have to investigate it,” he said.

Before he got hired as a special agent, Randall had to make a very critical decision. When he was getting accepted for this job, he was putting on public productions of his stage plays.

“I was getting really good reviews on my play,” Randall stated. “I had this fork in the road in my life. I had just gotten married, had children to take care of, and I had lost my job, but my plays were really gaining recognition. So I had a decision to make, what should I do?”

Many people told him to continue his play-writing career and follow his dreams. However, he questioned whether or not if this was the right thing to do for him and his family.

“I’m going to take the job as a special agent. I have to do this for my family,” he said. “I want to pursue my dreams but I will never let my family suffer.”

Randall described this career as an opportunity for him to take care of his family and grow as a person.

Taking this job did not mean that he abandoned his dreams. Randall continued to chase after his dreams as a writer. That dream came true when he started his own independently published graphic novel company in 2015.

“I was inspired to write stories as early as fourth grade,” said Randall. “I had a vivid imagination at a very young age.”

Randall admitted that self-publishing became his way of making himself known since finding a publishing agency that will notice his books was extremely difficult.

“Self-publishing became a thing that I ultimately had to do for myself and take my career by the horns,” said Randall. “When you venture into starting your own comic book company, it is intimidating.”

The Detroit native’s hard work paid off when he won the 2021 Kresge Arts Foundation Award in the category of graphic novels. This yearly award is given to the top artists in Michigan for innovation and being outstanding in their respected field.

“I was in shock to win this award,” he said. “It was surreal. But then I got emotional. To get to the point that the Kresge Arts Fellowship and the College of Creative Studies recognized my work as award worthy was humbling and awe inspiring.”

Every person that dons the Air Force uniform has their own background and story to tell. Many have different goals and aspirations they pursue outside of the military. Being able to take the time and have the discipline to achieve those goals and accomplish your duties as a member of the U.S. Air Force is what it means to be a Citizen Airman.

“People see what I do as an author, special agent, and a reservist in the Air Force and ask me, how do you make the time to do all of these things?” said Randall. “I always tell them that time is valuable. It’s our most valuable currency that we have and I use my time to focus on my dreams.”

Stay connected, visit Grissom on Facebook and Twitter. The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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