Air Force

June 13, 2014

LRS Airman finds passion in honor guard

Tags:
Senior Airman DEVANTE WILLIAMS
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Keith Cooper, 56th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard NCO in charge, shows new guardsmen how to properly flare their hands June 4 during a firing party at Luke Air Force Base. The honor guard’s primary mission is to provide military honors at funerals for veterans and retirees.

Few Airmen are chosen to represent the Air Force. Fewer are chosen to lead those Airmen. One of these Airmen is Master Sgt. Keith Cooper, 56th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard superintendent.

Cooper was born Oct. 26, 1973 and joined the Air Force Aug. 18, 1992, continuing his family’s legacy of military service.

“It’s a family tradition,” Cooper said. “Everybody in my family joins the military, whether it’s the Air Force, Marines or the Navy.”

His current job in the Air Force is with the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron as an equipment custodian. He found out about the base honor guard superintendent slot opening from Luke’s base paper, the Thunderbolt. The rest, as they say, is history.

“I saw the ad in the base newspaper and put in an application for it immediately,” Cooper said. “I was scheduled for an interview and about two weeks later, found out I was accepted.”

Cooper was sent to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for five days of training. He was trained how to manage the base honor guard program and also some of the basic honor guard movements to teach to the new Airmen.

While he enjoys being an honor guard superintendent and helping Airmen succeed, he also has a job outside the Air Force, and that’s taking care of his 9-year-old son.

“This will be my first year having full custody,” he said. “It’s been a trying time, but I’m glad to have him.”

It’s very difficult to balance both military and civilian life, but Cooper handles it well and continues to make improvements.
“Patience is key,” he said. “I can’t do stuff on my own. I will always need help in some way, shape or form.”

Cooper has been base honor guard superintendent for more than two years of a three-year special duty. While being a superintendent is no easy task, he enjoys working with the Airmen and leading them to represent the Air Force.

“My best moment as an honor guard superintendent was at the annual awards banquet,” he said. “About 30 members of honor guard showed up to support their fellow Airmen. Also, to hear everyone in honor guard say their chant was pretty awesome. That is one of the moments in honor guard that I won’t forget.”

He has earned respect from his peers and also from the honor guard Airmen he supervises.

“From the first day I joined honor guard, I could see how pumped up about the Air Force he is,” said Airman 1st Class James Hensley, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs. “He’s very involved in the Airmen that he leads, and it really shows in the training involved for honor guard. If you have trouble getting a movement down, he takes you to the side and shows you one-on-one how to properly execute that movement.”




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


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Airmen reach terminal velocity

Courtesy photo Second Lt. Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Community Relations chief, takes in the expansive view after the chute was pulled at 3,000 feet. Luke Air Force Base Airmen were chosen to tandem jump with ...
 
 

Planning for your future equals success

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward Success does not happen accidentally, it takes detailed planning and a vision of the future. I remember the day before I left for basic military training, I tried to imagine what my future...
 
 

Tuition assistance — a great benefit

In my opinion, tuition assistance is one of the best benefits that we as active-duty military members have available. During my 17 years in the Air Force, I have seen this benefit increase from 75 percent of tuition being paid to 100 percent. Additionally, most of us experienced this benefit being eliminated for a short...
 

 
Senior Airman Marcy Copeland

Military children celebrated for courage, resilience

Senior Airman Marcy Copeland Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, signs the Month of the Military Child proclamation April 1 at the Luke Air Force Base Child Development Center. The Month of the Military Child ...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

LOSC The Luke Officers Spouses Club invites spouses of officers to play bingo and have lunch at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Club Five Six. For more information or to RSVP, go to LukeOSCReservations@gmail.com. Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. April 30 in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel...
 
 

Salutes and Awards

Air Force Reserve Command announces major selects The following 944th Fighter Wing captains have been selected for promotion to major: 944th Fighter Wing Christopher Bisdnack 307th Fighter Squadron Jason Gentry 944th Force Support Squadron Derrick Young 944th Medical Squadron Jeffrey Cohen and Craig Lussier 46 graduate ALS class 15-3 The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership...
 




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