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2nd Lt. Sherry Mattson, left, a contracting officer for the 374th Airlift Wing, gives the oath of enlistment to her father, Chief Master Sgt. Brett Allison, 35th Operations Group, Monday at Misawa Air Base.
2nd Lt. Sherry Mattson, left, a contracting officer for the 374th Airlift Wing, gives the oath of enlistment to her father, Chief Master Sgt. Brett Allison, 35th Operations Group, Monday at Misawa Air Base. (Krista Valentine / Courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Second Lt. Sherry Mattson forgot her lines as soon as her dad smiled.

A contracting specialist with 374th Contracting Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Mattson was at Misawa on Monday to repay a favor to her father, Chief Master Sgt. Brett Allison, superintendent of 35th Operations Group.

After logging 26 years in the Air Force, Allison was to re-enlist one last time. Enlisted members must get an officer to administer their enlistment oath. Most choose their commander or immediate officer-in-charge; Allison asked his daughter.

“It’s kind of that continual feeling of pride in what she’s done,” the chief said. “It’s almost indescribable.”

The two have shared many milestones: Mattson was her father’s escort at his chief induction ceremony, and last May, Allison commissioned Mattson upon her graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

The chief found a legal loophole that allows a notary public to administer the oath to commission an officer in the military. Typically, either an active-duty or retired officer administers the commissioning oath.

This time, with Mattson reading the oath, father and daughter had come full circle.

“As far as having your child re-enlist you, I can’t say for sure it’s a first, but I don’t know of anyone else,” Allison said Monday after his re-enlistment ceremony.

Mattson said she memorized the oath — “about five or six lines” — the night before but stumbled when her dad started to smile.

“I just broke down laughing and I lost it and then I had to bust out the notes,” Mattson said.

Allison said he smiled at the part where he was to swear to obey officers appointed over him. “Just at the irony,” he said. One of those officers “just happens to be my daughter.”

Also Monday, Allison flew in the back seat of an F-16 in one of two hourlong sorties to mark the end of the 35th Fighter Wing’s fiscal 2004 flying program and more than 10,000 flight hours.

The chief’s first ride in a fighter and having his daughter re-enlist him made the day memorable, he said.

“I’ve been in the Air Force 26 years and have always wanted to fly in a fighter,” he said. “To finally get the opportunity and then to be able to roll this in there, it just doesn’t get any better than this.”

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