143d Airlift Wing Has a New Enlisted Leader

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt Arthur DesLauriers
  • 143d AW/PA
In a ceremony rich in tradition, the enlisted leadership of the 143d Airlift Wing changed hands Sunday December 3, 2012 inside the maintenance hangar at Quonset Air National Guard Base.

The ceremony took place in front of a Wing formation of hundreds of enlisted Airmen known as the "Rhode Warriors." Wing members manned the rare enlisted only formation commanded by Chief Master Sergeant David Cardullo of the Maintenance Group. After exchanging salutes and the four simple words, "Sir, I relinquish authority," outgoing Command Chief William McGovern handed the Wing guidon to the 143d Airlift Wing Commander Colonel Arthur Floru. Col Floru then presented the guidon to incoming Command Chief Master Jose Sergeant Baltazar, who replied, "Sir, I assume authority." Upon accepting authority, Baltazar began his task as the senior enlisted leader of the nearly 900 Airmen assigned to the 143d Airlift Wing.

Col Floru stated that Chief Baltazar's record and service validates who he is, "Everyday he leads, and he's a true professional. A model, an exceptional leader and a trusted agent and will serve the 143d well."

Chief Baltazar came to the 143d Airlift Wing from the Navy in 1989. He has gained expertise in many areas, such as; resource protection, ground combat, dignitary personal protection, response to weapons of mass destruction, education and training, leadership development, anti-terrorism, human resources management and has maintained instructor certifications in many facets of security forces.

Commenting on the realities of his new position as the responsibilities began to sink in; Chief Baltazar said that he pondered what he needed to bring to the job to continue to build while continuing the work that Chief McGovern and those before him have started. He said after running a few scenarios though his head he realized the answer was simple; earn the trust and respect of the men and women of the 143d; there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we trust and respect each other. Chief Baltazar promised to stand ready to work hard to do just that.

To close his remarks, Chief Baltazar used a quote from John Ruskin as a jumping point for his philosophy on where the 143d is as a unit and how to improve upon the accomplishments of those who have served - "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do." Chief Baltazar's message was simple; let's work together to build on the great work already accomplished by those who came before us.

As part of Sunday's ceremony, Chief Baltazar took time to thank the dignitaries, family and friends who attended. He thanked the members of the 143d and told them he is looking forward to serving them.

Chief Baltazar who replaces Chief McGovern is the 5th person to represent the enlisted force as the Wing's Command Chief. Serving prior to Chief Baltazar was; CMSgt. William McGovern, CMSgt. Timothy Potvin (ret.), CMSgt. John Gerimia (ret.) and CMSgt. Peter Waddington (ret.).