Defender continues tradition of service

Airman 1st Class Cody Seiber, 509th Security Forces Squadron defender, recently arrived at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., as a third-generation Airman and a second-generation member of the 509th family. Cody’s grandfather, Robert Seiber, and father, David Seiber, also served in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jovan Banks/Released)

Airman 1st Class Cody Seiber, 509th Security Forces Squadron defender, recently arrived at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., as a third-generation Airman and a second-generation member of the 509th family. Cody’s grandfather, Robert Seiber, and father, David Seiber, also served in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jovan Banks/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- There are many reasons one might join the U.S. Air Force. Some join for the education benefits, while others join for job stability. Some join to uphold a legacy of three generations of Airmen in their family.

Airman 1st Class Cody Seiber, 509th Security Forces Squadron defender, recently arrived at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., as a third-generation Airman and a second-generation member of the 509th family.

Seiber's grandfather, Robert Seiber, was a member of the 38th Bomb Group in Laon-Couvron Air Base in France from 1943 until 1945. The World War II veteran set the example for his family. His son eventually followed in his footsteps and enlisted.

Seiber's father, David Seiber, and uncle, Leo Tetreault, were both assigned to the 509th Bombardment Wing at Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire during their careers.

Seiber's father served 17 years as an inventory management specialist. Almost four of those years were spent with the 509th Bombardment Wing.

"Working in the 509th Bombardment Wing had such a positive effect on me and set me on the path for success during my time in the Air Force," said David Seiber.

"Supporting the many exercises and inspections the supply squadron had and assisting in their selection for numerous awards are some of my best memories from the 509th, making it one of my favorite places."

Seiber's uncle was also a member of security forces when he was assigned to the 509th Bombardment Group. After more than 10 years of service, Tetreault separated as a staff sergeant.

Seiber said he was glad he was raised in a military-like fashion.

"My family being in the military had everything to do with how I was raised," said Seiber. "I had to fold my clothes a certain way. I knew how to fold hospital corners in my sheets before I even went to basic training. If I had wrinkles in my clothes, my parents would make me change. They wanted me to look professional at all times and I'm glad I was raised in this manner. It made me who I am today, and I'm grateful for that."

Seiber said he always knew he was going to join-and it's not because his parents forced him to.

"I always saw my father and grandfather in uniform, and their way of life," said Seiber. "I'm proud to be part of a military family and military traditions. It's everything I've known and everything I've wanted."

After signing his contract, Seiber shipped out to Basic Military Training (BMT) in December of 2014.

"As soon as I joined I immediately noticed a difference in myself," said Seiber. "I was able to understand why my family is who they are. I understood why they made me who I am before I even entered the military. I have so much more respect for them now."

During technical training, Seiber received his slated duty station assignment.

"I was originally scheduled to go to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, but there was someone in my tech school who got assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing," said Seiber. "I begged him every day to switch with me and then he finally did."

Seiber said he is proud to be keeping the family name alive at his first duty station.

"I have big shoes to fill in the 509th," Seiber said. "I don't think there is any higher calling than choosing to serve. Doing that from generation to generation is a pretty special thing to say that you can do."

Seiber's family said they are all very pleased to see him uphold their legacy.

"I can't express how proud we all are for Cody, who has chosen to continue the family heritage and be a part of the United States Air Force," said David. "He is off to a great start."