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Double duty

Inspector serves nation on two fronts

U.S. Army Col. Herald Birchfield
U.S. Army Col. Herald Birchfield, who also is a postal inspector, is shown in Afghanistan in 2013.

Herald Birchfield has a unique perspective on what it means to serve and protect his country.

For 18 years, Birchfield has worked as a postal inspector while also serving as a colonel in the U.S. Army.

“I consider the work I do for the Postal Service to be just as important as any other position in public service,” Birchfield said.

During the week, Birchfield is a program manager in the Inspection Service’s technical unit, which provides the electronic equipment used in mail crime investigations.

When duty calls, he transitions to his role as an officer in the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General.

Birchfield first began his double duty in college when he took a casual position at the Columbia, MO, Post Office while serving as an Army cadet.

He later became a letter carrier and then a customer services supervisor, all while serving in the military.

“The fact that I could come back to the Postal Service and still be able to be part of the Army was like a dream come true,” he said.

Birchfield has advice for USPS employees considering a career with the Inspection Service, which is accepting applications this week for postal inspector positions.

“Your knowledge is a bedrock of the Postal Service, and that knowledge becomes invaluable when you become an inspector,” he said.

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