Veteran of the Month – Mark J. Penney

July 1, 2014

Senator Witkos’ Veteran of the Month

  • Name: Mark J. Penney
  • Place of Birth:  New Britain, CT
  • Date of Birth: 03 October, 1965
  • Current Town:  Canton, CT
  • Military Branch of Service:  United States Air Force, US Army Reserve, CT Air National Guard.
  • Enlisted, Commissioned, or Drafted: Enlisted
  • Service Dates:  27 Jan, 1984 through 12 Dec, 2012
  • Highest Rank: Master Sergeant
  • Military Jobs and Duties:

Air Force First Sergeant: Principal Advisor to commander, responsible for the preparation of a mission-ready enlisted force, and ensured availability of base agency services to unit members.

Security Forces/Police: Managed and performed security force activities including: installation, weapons systems, resource security, anti-terrorism, law enforcement and investigations, military working dog function, air base defense, armament and equipment, training, pass and registration, information security, and combat arms.

Tactical Air Command and Control Specialist (TACP)/ Radio Operator Maintainer And Driver (ROMAD): Managed and performed TACP operations, assisted Air Force in planning and controlling of combat air resources. Managed and operated GPS, and voice and digital TACP combat communications weapons systems.

Retention Office Manager: Responsible for determining need for and administering personnel retention programs.

Formal School Manager/Training Manager: Coordinated training schools for base populace.  Prepared new recruits for basic and individualized training.

Signal Intelligence Specialist and German Linguist (Army Military Intel unit):  Collected and analyzed intercepted communications to isolate data that had intelligence value.

  • War, Operation, or Conflict served in:

Enlisted and deployed to Germany during the Cold War, 1984.

Active Duty during Desert Storm, 1990.

Activated after 9/11 for Operation Noble Eagle and provided homeland defense at Bradley Air National Guard Base (ANGB) East Granby, CT.

Deployed to Al Dhafra Air Force Base, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002.


  • Locations of Service:

Air Force Basic Military Training, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX

1345 Student Squadron, Hurlburt Field, FL

Operation Location-Tango, Detachment 2, 602 Air Support Squadron, United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE), Germany

Headquarters, 3/35th Armor Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armor Division, Warner Barracks, Bamberg, Germany

103rd Security Police Squadron, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, CT

103rd Mission Support Group, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, CT

380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE


  • Decorations:

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Combat Readiness Medal

Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

National Defense Service Medal with 1 Service Star

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short Tour

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long Tour

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border

Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with ‘M’ Device and 2 Hourglasses

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol)

AF Training Ribbon

Army Service Ribbon


  • Combat or service-related injuries: None


  • Military Schools/Training:

USAF First Sergeant Academy

USAF Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy

USAF Non-Commissioned Officer Academy

USAF Personnel Specialist Course

USAF Retention Course

ANG Security Manager Course

USAF Security Specialist Course

USAF NCO Preparatory Course

USA Combat Lifesavers Course

USAF Close Air Support Course

USAF Tactical Air Command and Control Course


A.S., Law Enforcement, Manchester Community College

B.S., Public Safety Administration, Charter Oak State College

M.S., Criminal Justice, Central Connecticut State University

Currently pursuing a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law

Professional Affiliations:

Air Force Sergeant’s Association

National Guard Association of CT

AFSCME Council 15, Local 2695 (Police Department Union) President

Sons of the American Revolution

Connecticut Masonic Fraternity, Lodge #29

Memorable events:

One of six of the first Active Guard Reservists Security Police members assigned to Guard A-10s at Bradley ANGB, East Granby, October 1989.

Homestead Air Force Base, Florida during Hurricane Andrew, Aug 16, 1992.

Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi during Hurricane Erin, Aug 2, 1995.

One of the first Distant Learning Instructors at Bradley ANGB for the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in 1995.




Master Sergeant Penney first enlisted in the United States Air Force in January 1984 as a Tactical Air Command and Control Specialist. After Basic Military Training and technical school, Master Sergeant Penney was assigned to Operation Location-Tango, Detachment 2, 602nd Air Support Operations Group at Warner Barracks, Bamberg, Germany. He deployed numerous times during his four-year tour with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division as part of the Air Liaison Office.

After completing his first enlistment in the Air Force, Master Sergeant Penney enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Signal Intelligence Specialist with the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion, East Windsor CT. In October, 1989, he applied for a position with the 103rd Security Police Squadron at Bradley ANGB. After being accepted for the position, Master Sergeant Penney spent seven years as an Active Guard/Reservist with the unit. During this time he performed a multitude of duties including Alarm Response Team/Security response Team Leader and Central Security Controller and was awarded a 7 skill level.

Master Sergeant Penney deployed on numerous temporary duty assignments with the unit, including a 2001 deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, as a Squad Leader for the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While at Bradley ANGB, Master Sergeant Penney took advantage of cross training opportunities and held positions as both Formal Schools Manager and Assistant Retention Office Manager with the 103rd Mission Support Flight. He was awarded his 7 skill level as a Personnel Specialist just prior to his being selected as a First Sergeant for the 103rd Security Forces Squadron in October 2008.

In 2010, Master Sergeant Penney was awarded the First Sergeant of the Year for the State of Connecticut. He left active duty status in 1998 to become a municipal police officer with a department in Connecticut, and retired from the military on 12 December, 2012. He currently serves as a Patrol Sergeant with the Canton Police Department. His duties include supervising a patrol division and commanding his department’s training and detective division. He has received many awards including the Life Saving Medal, the Medal of Merit, and the Special Achievement and Commendation award.