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.


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>