As one of the 1.2 million Hispanics who’ve served in the military, Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Miranda, 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing Command Chief, is keeping a legacy of devotion to country alive and well.
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, he chose the Profession of Arms at age 17.
“To this [day], my parents are very proud that I serve our nation,” he said. “My dad still proudly flies our nation’s flag every day to honor the sacrifices of [all] our service members.”
His parents, Benjamin and Soledad Miranda, were both born in Mexico. His father worked as a sewing master for Levi’s and his mother worked as a stay-at-home mom.
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Miranda said his mother was the nucleus of the household while his father was the provider, and together they taught him what it means to take care of “la familia.”
“My father instilled in me the value of hard work and my mother instilled in me the importance of caring and serving others. I will add that my mother was also the queen of ‘la chancla’ [a slipper or sandal used for discipline] and did not hesitate to use it at any time.”
That strong foundation helped bring out the best in him, he said. One example of that is his record of educational achievements. For instance, since joining the Air Force, he has received multiple degrees including a Master of Science in Educational Leadership, a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, an Associates in Applied Science in Instructor of Technology, an Associates in Applied Science in Criminal Justice, and an Undergraduate Certification in Terrorism Studies.
In addition, he’s used his Spanish speaking skills, heritage, and professional knowledge in various assignments that included Superintendent and Instructor at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, Director of Education of the Inter-American Air Forces NCO Academy, Chief of Security Forces in Ecuador Forward Operating Location, and Security Forces Manager in 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern).
My father instilled in me the value of hard work and my mother instilled in me the importance of caring and serving others.
Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Miranda, 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing Command Chief
He was recently awarded the International Legion of Merit Medal from the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces. This medal was awarded due to his numerous contributions in Latin America and support of SICOFAA’s interests to promote and strengthen the bonds of friendship and mutual support between 20 Western Hemisphere member nations. This includes the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela who meet to discuss air operations, human resources, education and training, search and rescue, disaster relief, telecommunications, aerospace medicine, weather, prevention of plane crashes, and scientific research.
“My favorite part about being Hispanic is who I represent and what I stand for,” said Miranda. “It is important for me to be a role model and to be a good example for others to follow. Joining the Air Force [has given me] limitless opportunities. In addition to the great skill sets the Air Force gave me, being fluent in Spanish opened many professional doors for me.”
For Miranda, being bilingual allows him to bridge the communication gaps between cultures. He traveled to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean in support of Countering Transnational Organized Crimes efforts, where being Hispanic allowed him to immediately form a professional bond with America’s partner nations and continue to foster enduring Inter-American engagement efforts.
He said his Hispanic pride remains with him as he travels from country to country. It resides in him while he puts on the Air Force uniform, and it continues past the month dedicated to honoring his heritage.
“I plan on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by never forgetting where I came from and by remembering those who paved the path for me to be here,” said Miranda. “It feels great to be an American Airman who represents the Hispanic population with pride and honor.”