The Force Protection badge is worn by U.S. Air Force Officers and enlisted Airmen in the Support and Special Investigations Career Groups. In the Support category, officers (AFSC 31PX) and enlisted personnel ((3P) serve in the Security Forces career field, while Special Investigations is a career field unto itself comprising AFSC 7S for enlisted personnel and officer code 71SX. Two specialties, Military Working Dog Handler (“A” shredout) and Combat Arms Specialist (“B”) are included in AFSC 3P.

In keeping with the motto of “Defensor Fortis,” or Defenders of the Force, Security Force members are tasked with the protection and defense Air Force, Joint, or Coalition forces as they carry out their missions. The provide security for installations and the equipment and materiel found in them, from conventional and nuclear weapons and fuel to information systems. In fact, Security Force personnel provide direct support of the majority (two-thirds) of U.S. nuclear capabilities.

Security Force specialists and officers work in a broad variety of environments including forward operating bases, and consequently carry out a plethora of patrols and drills, both mounted and dismounted and as individuals or in teams, inside installations and in support og logistic movements such as convoys. It practically goes without saying that the duties of a Security Force specialist include the use of force, quite possibly deadly forces.

In addition to force protection, Security Forces ensure the smooth functioning of all operations at Air Force bases and installations by performing the function of military police. In this area their responsibilities can overlap with those of Special Investigations. Airmen in the AFSC 7S0X1 are the “detectives” of the Air Force, investigating all types of criminal violations not only under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but also applicable international, Federal, state, and local laws. Special Investigations officers (71SX) manage these investigations, which can extend into the realms of counterintelligence, environmental crimes, fraud, and internal security.

Both of these Career Fields have their own emblems beside the Force Protection badge. The Security Forces’ emblem features a falcon over two crossed runways, hearkening back to the organization’s original responsibilities of air base defense. The emblem of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) is a light blue shield featuring a blue, winged sphere centered between two swords; above the sphere is a lit “lamp of knowledge.” Security Force specialists and officers may carry a Force Protection badge, while Special Investigations members may have an AFOSI shield.

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