Protecting My Country, Inside and Out

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Emily L. A. Rautenberg
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

The expression “wearing multiple hats” applies to all reservists balancing military and civilian careers. Master Sgt. Rebekah Spedaliere is no exception.


At the 514th Air Mobility Wing, Spedaliere is the 514th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s First Sergeant. This position alone is no small task.


She also works for the U.S. Park Police. She is a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, a Training Instructor, and serves on the National Park Service Special Events and Tactics Team. Currently, she works at the Statue of Liberty, helping to keep the monument, its staff, and its visitors safe.


Spedaliere brought women of the 514th Air Mobility Wing to the Statue of Liberty for a tour on March 7, 2019, in honor of Women’s History Month.


Spedaliere first learned about the Park Police when she was beginning to transition from Air Force active duty to the reserve. 


Originally called Park Watchmen, Park Police is the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agency, having formed in 1791, and changing its name in 1919. 


“They enforce both federal and state laws in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York, California, and all national park service areas,” Spedelaire said.


Working in Park Police for over seven years has provided Spedaliere many interesting opportunities. Her and her coworkers have escorted famous politicians and celebrities like former presidents, musicians like Beyonce, and actresses like Megan Fox.


To Spedaliere, one of the most memorable visitors was Brian Mast, the U.S. Republican Representative for Florida’s 18th congressional district. Mast is a veteran of the U.S. Army, who lost both of his legs in an IED explosion in Kandahar.


“I got to escort him and his son around,” Spedaliere said. “That’s the cool part about being here, meeting people like him.”


It is important for the Park Police and the Park Rangers to work together to both protect and conserve these national parks and monuments, she said. Conservation and security need to balance each other.


“I want to protect my country,” Spedelaire said. “It’s what I was trained to do in the military and who I’ve become. Now I get to serve my country, and protect it. Not just outside its borders, but inside as well.”