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.


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 

 

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s a Viper

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer A group touring Luke Air Force Base watches as an F-16 Fighting Falcon launches. Both the tower and the mountains are further away than they appear.
 
 

Use, lose leave over 60 days visible on April LES

In 2008, legislation was introduced to increase the number of leave days a member could carry forward at the end of the fiscal year from 60 to 75 days. Every year since, legislation has been introduced to extend the 75-day leave carryover through Sept. 30. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and...
 
 

Air Force News – April 24, 2015

Idaho Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing and the 266th Range Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base teamed with Sailors, Marines and Army National Guardsmen for combat training scenarios to simulate deployed situations during Gunfighter Flag 15-2. Honduras Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody visited Soto Cano Air Base April 13...
 




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