TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa police officer returned home from a nearly one-year military deployment to a hero's welcome and a special surprise: a historic promotion.

  • Travis Maus promoted while on deployment
  • Maus presented with new badge by Chief Dugan upon his return
  • More Good News stories

Travis Maus has served with the Tampa Police Department for almost 20 years. He also serves with the Army Reserve.

He was deployed for a mission to Iraq last February. He and his company, the "Ghostriders," successfully flew several hundred missions in and out of five countries in the Middle East.

"He works really hard for the city. He worked right up until the day he left. He took one day off before he left," said his wife, Jessica.

While he was away, Chief Brian Dugan made the decision to promote Maus from Sergeant to Lieutenant.

"You have to send a message to your veterans and to people who are serving. We say we support them, but we need to make sure our actions are showing that support and that's really what this is about," said Dugan.

Dugan presented Maus with a new badge at Tampa International Airport as dozens of fellow officers looked on clapping and cheering.

"I knew from when I was a small child that I wanted to be a police officer, so it was always a dream I had," Maus explained. "I also knew I wanted to be a pilot in the military, but I didn't think I'd have the opportunity to do both."

"Travis looks out for others. As the Chief of Police, I look for qualities that will make for a great leader for the future of our agency. Travis exhibits these qualities in his civilian and military roles. This made my decision to promote him to the rank of lieutenant during his most recent deployment a very easy one," said Dugan.

This is the first time in the recorded history of the department that a promotion was made during a military deployment.