Combined Ceremony Celebrates Change of Command of 143d Mission Support Group, Assumption of Command of 143d Communications Flight, and Chief's Promotion

  • Published
  • By Master Sergeant Janeen Miller
  • 143 AW/PA
Members of the 143d Airlift Wing, Family, and Friends gathered in the Maintenance Hangar at Quonset Air National Guard Base on June 29, 2013 to witness three important ceremonies. A Change of Command of the Mission Support Group, the largest Group in the 143d Airlift Wing, an Assumption of Command of the Communications Flight, and the induction of four new Chief Master Sergeants, the highest achievable enlisted rank in the Air Force.

The first of the three ceremonies to take place was the Change of Command of the 143d Mission Support Group. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Hamel, formally the Commander of the 143d Security Forces Squadron assumed Command from Colonel John Reed. LtCol Hamel challenged the men and women of the Mission Support Group to be better than they already are and to continuously strive for excellence in all they do. He went on to thank his wife and children who just made it to the ceremony due to a delayed flight!

During a second ceremony, Captain Charlene Marshall, formally of the 102d Network Warfare Squadron, assumed Command of the 143d Communications Flight. The assumption of command ceremony occurs when there is a time lapse between the departure of a commander and the arrival of a new commander. Capt Marshall thanked Wing Commander, Colonel Arthur Floru for the opportunity to lead the Communications Flight. She gave a short address to her Airmen. Her address surrounded the Core Values and Team Approach. "As the Leader of this fine organization, I am driven by the Air Force Core Values of Integrity, Service, and Excellence. These core values are the cornerstone of our great Air Force, The Air National Guard and our Flight. We will always conduct ourselves as professional warriors- Ready to answer the call of duty to support our great Nation. We will do what it takes to ensure that we maintain our edge in overall readiness and training and we will never compromise our integrity" remarked Marshall.

The final ceremony celebrated the promotion of four Airmen in the 143d Airlift Wing to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Chief Master Sergeants Patrick Cavanaugh of the 143d Logistics Readiness Squadron, Richard Ball, also of the 143d Logistics Readiness Squadron, Sean Ballard of the 143d Airlift Squadron and Daniel Mucci of the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron. Chief's promotion ceremonies are a time-honored military tradition. The ceremony stresses the importance of the enlisted leader. We deem it appropriate to give special recognition to these individuals selected to the highest enlisted grade, chief master sergeant.

From the beginning of organized military life, certain men and women, because of their leadership, dedication to duty, professionalism and other qualities, were selected to be non-commissioned officer leaders. Those that were in the forefront became the senior non-commissioned officers of today. Two percent of these non-commissioned officers have been further identified to hold the highest enlisted grade. Their achievements have been identified, their strengths tested, and they have proven themselves capable of carrying the banner for the enlisted force. The NCO's we honor today have earned the right to join the Chief Master Sergeant corps. This is not a gift; it is the result of hard work, loyal service to our state and country, enormous sacrifice from them and their families, and of course, distinctive accomplishments. Our Air National Guard is a young service, but the responsibility of the Chief Master Sergeant is clearly defined and dignified by those who have discharged it with honor since the first Chief chevron was sewn on the uniform in 1959. This places the Air Guard Chief in the unique position of inheriting a tradition while setting new traditions. This ceremony clearly demonstrates a commonality of purpose among enlisted leadership and demonstrates that Chiefs will work together to achieve common goals: protecting our nation and way of life -- taking care of our people -- and fully supporting and enhancing our proven tradition of personal dedication and unified achievement.

Each promotion within the enlisted grades is a significant step in one's guard career. With advancement up the pyramid, each promotion becomes more difficult and consequently more rewarding. Less than 2% hold the top enlisted grade in the guard -- that of the Chief Master Sergeant. Therefore, these chiefs can be justifiably proud of their achievement. Not everyone possesses the essential attributes required to achieve this level of accomplishment, that of one of the very few at the top of their profession.