Former Falcon Ben Garland takes oath for Colorado Air National Guard

May 31, 2012

First Lieutenant Ben Garland, a 2010 Air Force Academy graduate and four-year football lettermen, was officially sworn-in as a member of the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard on Wednesday in a ceremony at Dove Valley conducted by Gen. Trulan A. Eyre, the 140th Wing Commander.

Garland is at training camp for the Denver Broncos and will working in the National Guard as a public affairs officer when not with the Broncos.

A transcript of the ceremony follows:


Denver Broncos defensive lineman and 1st Lt. Ben Garland was officially sworn-in as a member of the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard on Wednesday in a ceremony at Dove Valley conducted by Brig. Gen. Trulan A. Eyre, 140th Wing commander.

The attached photos may be used for editorial purposes only and should be credited to Eric Lars Bakke/Denver Broncos.

1ST LT. Ben Garland

Oath "I, Ben Garland, do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the president and the governor of the state of Colorado; that I make this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of lieutenant in the State of Colorado upon which I am about to enter, so help me God."

On being sworn-in to the Colorado Air National Guard "It's always been my dream to be able to come out here and do this so this is really me being able to do both dreams. I love being out here and being able to practice. We practiced today and I got to put on the best uniform in the world, and put on this Air Force uniform."



On how it will work competing for the Broncos and serving in the National Guard "Basically what's going to happen is, like most guard units, I have a civilian job. So I'll work as hard as I can at the civilian job, and whenever the guard calls me, I'll go and work there. I'll work in the offseason. There are plenty of breaks in football]. There's a break coming up June 15 until [Training] Camp. I'm going to go to the guard, work as hard as I can. And then after the Super Bowl there's another large break where I'm able to really fulfill my commitment."

On the commitment "This is part of my [Air Force] Academy commitment. All academy grads have at least a 5-year commitment. After serving two years, I switched the remainder of my active duty commitment over to reserve and guard. And that's what I'm going to fulfill now.

"This is the ability to do both [military and football]. With pilot training it would have been the longer 12-year commitment instead of the 5-year commitment. This is where I can fully serve and be a part of the guard as well as try to fully participate and try to make this team."

On giving up pilot training "It was tough to be able to put down the pilot training. I spoke to my chaplains, my grandfather and my family. My big thing is I want to be a part of the Air Force. I'm having that opportunity and I'm also having the opportunity to play for the team I dreamed about playing for as a little kid."

On potentially deploying "That's the service and that's the commitment I decided to go into, so I fully understand. I'll be ready to go and I'll be ready to work as hard as I can. The chances are slim. Obviously I don't want to spend any time away from this facility if I don't have to, but if they're called up, I'm ready to go.

"I'll be working in public affairs, working with the media and trying to get our message out as fast as possible and as quick as possible, so we can make sure the local audience and our internal audience knows what we're doing and how we're helping them out."


On Ben Garland being sworn-in to the Colorado Air National Guard "We're proud to have Ben, I know the state of Colorado is proud and I know the Air Force is proud. I think the ultimate commitment and sacrifice is in the U.S. Military and obviously the Air Force being one of those branches. I'm not sure you get a better trained guy than a guy like Ben Garland."

On what it's like to have Garland on his team "I think my experience in the military growing up in a military family and just being around that--I've been over to Afghanistan to Bagram [Air Force Base] to watch our troops. The leadership in our country and in the military is unbelievable, so to get a guy like Ben who's been trained by the best of the best, it's quite an honor for me and us."

On the teamwork in the military "It's the ultimate teamwork. Talk about commitment, sacrifice--there is nothing like the military, in particular, down range and real battle. I think our players respect that. Everyone on our team respects that, as well as me as the head coach."

On having to put Garland on the reserve/military list for two years "Obviously the scouting department felt highly enough of him. I had the opportunity to meet him this time a year ago. He was on a detail here in Denver and he impressed me right away standing in there in that hallway. We're just glad we have him. We're excited and proud to have him."


On Ben Garland "You've got a high-character young man, a tremendous leader, a guy that is humble, a guy that wants to be a darn good teammate, a guy that's dependable and a guy that's durable.

"He's a great example, not just on the football field, but more importantly as a human being. This guy is a winner. He's as [good as a] leader as a leader gets. It's a proud moment. There have been many and there will be many more for Ben Garland and all those that are fortunate to associated with Ben Garland."

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