Air Force

August 17, 2012

Welsh ‘humbled’ to serve as Air Force chief of staff

Tags:
by Tech Sgt. Shawn Jones
Air Force public affairs agency
120810-F-EK235-658
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley swears in Gen. Mark A. Welsh III as the twentieth Air Force Chief of Staff Chief, assisted by his Welsh's wife Betty, during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 10, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — The Air Force chief of staff flag passed to the service’s 20th chief in a ceremony, Aug. 10.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, a 36-year Airman, stepped into the position, taking over for Gen. Norton Schwartz, who also retired from the Air Force during the ceremony.

“Mark is respected throughout the Air Force for his exceptional leadership and ability to connect with Airmen,” Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said.

Raised in an Air Force family, Welsh said he found a role model in his father, a decorated combat pilot.

“Today, I think he’d be proud of me,” Welsh said. “Any day a kid can make his dad proud is a great day.”

Welsh emphasized the need for Airmen to understand the importance of the other services in joint operations, but also said Airmen should not underestimate the combat capabilities of their own service in winning today’s fight.

“No one else can bring what we bring to the fight and any real war fighter knows that,” he said. “Don’t ever doubt yourself or this service.

Welsh also addressed his stance on issues affecting the well-being of Airmen.

“When it comes to Airman resiliency, suicide prevention, and sexual assault prevention and response, I believe you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem,” he said. “There is no middle ground.”

Welsh also said the Air Force must shape the future and that will require innovative thinking and different approaches to problems, along with modernization.

Welsh was nominated by the president May 10 and confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 2.

In his previous position as the commander of U. S. Air Forces in Europe, he was in charge of Air Force activities in an area of operations covering nearly one-fifth of the globe.

Welsh, a 1976 graduate of the Air Force Academy, has served in numerous operational, command and staff positions, such as commandant of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, vice commander of Air Education and Training Command and associate director for military affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency.

“When I became a squadron commander, I felt excited. When I became a wing commander, I felt proud. When I became a major command commander, I felt privileged and a little bit old,” he said. “Today when I was sworn in as chief of staff of the Air Force, I felt humbled to be given the honor of leading its incredible Airmen.”

His experience includes nearly 3,300 flying hours, most of which came in the A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
As the ceremony ushered in a new chapter in Air Force history, it also served as the final chapter for Schwartz’s four years as the service’s senior uniformed leader and his more than 39 years of military service.

Schwartz’s career began in 1973 after graduating from the Air Force Academy. He has logged more than 4,400 flying hours and participated in military operations in Vietnam, Iraq and Cambodia.

“Anyone looking for an example of Air Force core values need look no further than Gen. Norty Schwartz,” Donley said. “Thank you for your lasting contribution to our Air Force and the character and quality of your service.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta presented Schwartz with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, which is awarded to service members who perform exceptionally meritorious service in a position of great responsibility.

The award citation highlighted his success in restoring excellence in the Air Force nuclear mission, his efforts to partner with joint and coalition teammates in support of operations worldwide, modernizing the Air Force’s air and space inventories, and care for Airmen and families. Schwartz’s wife, Suzie, was also recognized for her devotion to Airmen and family support programs.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley passes the Chief of Staff flag to Gen. Mark A. Welsh III during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 10, 2012. Prior to his new position, he was the commander of U. S. Air Forces in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Michael J. Pausic)




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


 
 

 
CAP

Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing encampment

As the summer season kicks into high gear, the Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing celebrated its annual Cadet Encampment, and the 40th Anniversary of the Cadet Training Group, at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, July 1st thr...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Hailey Haux

AF generals testify for their future positions

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Hailey Haux Gen. Paul J. Selva, the nominee for vice chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Darren W. McDew, the nominee for U.S. Transportation Command commander, sit before Congres...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher

452nd Air Mobility Wing crew experiences 71st Anniversary of D-Day

U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher The Association Picauville Se Souvient’s memorial lists the units and names of paratroopers and crews of the C-47 Skytrain jets that were lost more than 70 years ago. The Picauvi...
 

 
U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Van Tuinen

Civil Affairs Command completes change of command, ready for more Pacific operations

U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Van Tuinen The cannon, named Country, renders honors as part of a change of command ceremony on June 6. During the ceremony, the outgoing commander, Brig. Gen. Stephen K. Curda passed command o...
 
 

Air Force elevates discharge authority for transgender-related Airmen separations

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force leaders announced June 4 a change to the decision authority for involuntary separations for enlisted Airmen diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender. “Though the Air Force policy regarding involuntary separation of gender dysphoric Airmen has not changed, the elevation of decision authority to the director, Air...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Reservist deploys to Nepal as civilian Urban Search and Rescue Specialist

Courtesy photo Maj. Glenn ‘Tony’ Wright, 452nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, stands amid rubble in the nation of Nepal while deployed there following a devastating earthquake in April 2015. Wright is ...
 




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>