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Veterans in Blue: Serving Country and Community

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jhanelle Haag
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
From a young age, Dave Mercier knew he wanted to be in law enforcement. While growing up he wasn't sure how he wanted to reach his goal, but always seeing his father's retirement orders hanging on the wall gave him an idea.

"My father served for four years in the Air Force and I was born when he was still on active duty," said Mercier, United States supervisory probation officer. "He was extremely proud of his service in the Air Force and I always remembered seeing his retirement order hanging on the wall."

Mercier learned there were many benefits with enlisting in the Air Force and realized it could help him reach his goal. After graduating from high school in 1993, Mercier enlisted in the Air Force. On completion of basic training Mercier went on to attend the security police training program.

While at the security police program, he was selected to become a military working dog handler. After completing training in 1995 he was sent to Osan Air Force Base, Korea to work as a security forces working dog handler. Mercier was only there for a year when he received orders to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

"I was a little shocked when they told me they were glad to have someone with rank coming in," said Mercier. "I was only an Airman First Class at the time."

After arriving at Laughlin, Mercier earned a below-the-zone promotion and put on Senior Airman and was assigned as a flight chief.

For the next five years he would develop his personal life and leadership skills.

"I met my wife in Del Rio, Texas and we had our first child here," said Mercier. "When my daughter was born, I had to really think about re-enlisting and what I wanted to do."

Ultimately, Mercier decided it would be best after seven years of service to his country to move on and serve his local community.

After separating, Mercier briefly worked for the Del Rio news department. Shortly after he then began working for the Del Rio Police Department as a patrol officer and later became a detective. Mercier now serves as a federal employee for the United States Probation Office as a supervisory probation officer.

"The lessons I learned as a military member have truly helped shape my career into what it is now. The opportunities I had to attend different leadership schools helped give me the credentials to get where I wanted to be," said Mericer. "The Air Force gave me the ability to promote quickly in my civilian job and better serve my community."