Staff Sergeant Kirsten Brandes enlisted in the Air Force in January of 2015. During her nearly six years of service as a Broadcast Journalist, she has served at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; and Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

In 2018, she completed an 8-month deployment to Djibouti in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. She was awarded a Joint Service Commendation Medal and a Joint Service Achievement Medal for her documentation and communication efforts. She also received a media award for both Video Story of the Year and Military Videographer of the Year for United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.

Her proudest moment in the military was assisting with documentation efforts of humanitarian aid to Mozambique after it was devastated by Hurricane Idai.