Events

July 26, 2012

A fond farewell from your Chief

Tags:
Chief Master Sgt. Vincent Howard
355th Fighter Wing Command Chief
DT_pict1

On Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Base Theater, I will retire from the United States Air Force after 30 years and 2 months of active duty service. It is a moment of reflection and pride. Serving the interests of our nation has given me many fantastic opportunities and personal successes. But as my retirement date looms, I want to share with you what I am most proud of.

I started my career earning honor graduate recognition from Basic Military Training, but I am not most proud of that.

I have been a distinguished or honor graduate at every level of professional military education and every technical training course I attended, but I am not most proud of that.

I was my wing’s First Sergeant of the Year in 2003 and named one of Southern Arizona’s 25 Most Influential African Americans earlier this year, but I am not most proud of that.

Rather, I am most proud of the uniform I’ve been fortunate enough to wear for the last 30 years and what it represents: discipline, sacrifice, courage, commitment and respect. Our nation’s Airmen are Americans of the highest order. Their professionalism and dedication is eye watering and it will be difficult to put my uniform away and walk away for the final time.

I am most proud of my 15 years as a USAF first sergeant, serving the needs of our Airmen in any way I was able to. I was a teacher, coach, cheerleader, bodyguard, mentor, counselor, defender, disciplinarian, father, big brother or whatever role my Airmen needed me to assume so that they were free to accomplish the mission.


I am most proud of being a member of the Desert Lightning Team and am inspired by your collective commitment to integrity, service and excellence. Serving the DLT has been the most rewarding tour of my military career. It is a team that virtually never loses. If we fall short of our own expectations, the DLT has consistently reloaded and came back even stronger.

I am a lucky man. Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have had noble leaders, distinguished peers and talented subordinates. They, along with my wife Sarah and my children, combined with the grace of Almighty God, have made my Air Force journey a bona fide life highlight.

I will have a few more words at my retirement ceremony, but realizing that not everyone will be able to attend, let me leave you with a quote from my favorite football coach and leader, the great Vince Lombardi.

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”


I depart with a feeling of victory because of you, my fellow Airmen. I depart but will bring true treasure with me – friends, relationships, mementos, and memories that will sustain me for life.  Serving with you has been a blessing. My family and I, along with hundreds of millions of others, sleep soundly and safer because of you.

I will take off my uniform next week, but I will always be an Airman. I wish you all of God’s blessings and good hunting.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

What to know before you go to the open house

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” Air Show and Open House April 12 and 13. The event is open to the public and admission is free. It is two days of nonstop entertainment, but a few tips can help make the experience more pleasurable for guests. Traffic...
 
 

D-M Airman defuses situation downrange

One of the biggest defense mechanisms of any expeditionary air base is the ability to launch aircraft to neutralize threats. Several 380th Air Expeditionary Wing agencies are charged with getting air operations back up and running as soon as possible should the flightline or runway be attacked. The 380th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal...
 
 
wall

The writing on the “Walls”

The “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house will feature many showcases, mostly centered on aerial displays. But one exhibit takes us from the skies to the ground and across thousands of miles to the sands of Iraq, ...
 

 

Will Allen: The Flying Tenor

Combining his vocal talents with his flying, Will Allen as “The Flying Tenor” brings a new type of air show performance that will stir your soul. Will sings the national anthem live from the cockpit of his Pitts bi-plane while flying an aerobatic routine that has been choreographed to harmonize with the cadence and crescendos of the...
 
 
DesertRat

Desert Rats

The “Desert Rats” Warbird Demonstration Team makes a high-speed run past each other in their CJ-6A Chinese basic pilot trainer aircraft. The CJ-6 aircraft, designed in 1958, are still flown today by China’s People’s Lib...
 
 
USAFBlue

USAFA Wings of Blue

Each year, the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team performs at more than 50 special events in front of over 2 million spectators. Demonstration venues include airshows, NFL and College football games, and special events across the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin