Air Force

August 9, 2013

New 452 Maintenance Group commander made early choice to take position

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Joe Davidson
Beacon Editor

Col. Samuel Mahaney awards the Legion of Merit to Col. Max J. Stitzer during his Assumption of Command ceremony for the 452nd Maintenance Group held July 13 in Building 2306. Stitzer assumed command of the group from Col. Robert R. Stormes who retired from the Air Force in February.

Squadrons of the 452nd Maintenance Group assembled July 13 to honor their new group commander when Col. Max T. Stitzer assumed command at a ceremony held at building 2306. He replaces Col. Robert R. Stormes who retired in February.

452nd Air Mobility Wing Commander, Col. Samuel Mahaney presided over the ceremony where family, friends, guests and squadron members saw Stitzer receive the guidon signifying his acceptance of the group commander’s responsibilities.

A native of Ogden, Utah, he has extensive experience leading Air Force organizations that include three aircraft maintenance squadrons, deputy commander of an air control group, a maintenance group and a fighter group. During a deployment for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Stitzer commanded the U.S. Air Force’s largest squadron in Afghanistan, the NATO International Security Assistance Force.

During a recent interview conducted in his office, he recalled that he didn’t think he would ever be a member of the Air Force. He always loved and respected the military and was around uniformed people his entire life. According to him he had a very acute awareness of who in his family had served in uniform, what they represented and what that meant.

“I could see they were different,” says Stitzer. “But I wasn’t so presumptuous to think that I was made of the same stuff and had that same ability.”

Near the final semester of his senior year in high school, Stitzer’s father came to him and said they needed to talk. “You need to decide what you’re going to do, this is a huge milestone. You’re going to graduate from high school,” said his father.

His father gave him a couple of options that he thought were viable and one of those was to join the military.

“It was a jolt to me. I thought, I guess now is when you can decide if you’re going to do that,” said Stitzer.

Col. Stitzer and Chief Master Sgt. Karen Krause conduct a traditional “tack on” of new stripes for newly promoted Tech. Sgt. Jack Lopez, a Maintenance Management Analyst for the 452 Maintenance Group. Lopez re-entered the Air Force after an 18-year break in service and recently earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.

He talked to recruiters, took the examinations needed to determine his job qualifications and was aware of what the other services had to offer. But the Air Force was just more natural, he said.

He went to airshows when he was a kid, and his grandfather was an Airman in WWII and retired from Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Stitzer says “it was almost like there was no choice of what I would do.”

The recruiter showed him a list of Air Force specialties he was able to apply for, and the list began with the Air Force jobs with the highest re-enlistment bonuses. Stitzer says he sensed it was a better deal for his recruiter to recruit someone into a bonus specialty than it was for him.

Stitzer recalled, “I said well how about this one here, Intelligence, and his recruiter said “well that requires an interview, I don’t know how well you’ll do.” “Well, why don’t you let me see how well I will do?”

He interviewed for the job and was selected. Stitzer joined the Air Force Reserve as a Target Intelligence Technician.

It turned out for Stitzer that this was exactly where he was supposed to be. He always felt that he was being watched over and says he knows where that watching over comes from.

He will admit that some of it comes from the people around him. Throughout his career people have seen more in him than he sees in himself. They have taken a chance and as a result of their faith in him he has come to take on the responsibilities of group commander.

From an Airman Basic to his second group command, a group with two different weapon systems, and a thousand people, that’s what an eighteen-year-old can look forward to someday, if not more, in our Air Force.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

March Key Spouse Program kicks off initial training

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Valerie Fioretta, key spouse facilitator and director of the Airman and Family Readiness Center, March Air Reserve Base, explains an exercise to participants during an init...
 
 

‘Tis the season for holiday health

The holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate life, to be grateful, and reflect on what’s important. They are also a time to appreciate the gift of health. Here are some holiday tips to support your efforts for health and safety this season. Wash your hands often. Keeping hands...
 
 

California DMV to unveil Veteran driver license, ID card

Late next year, California’s nearly two million Veterans will have the chance to get a special Veteran marking on their California driver license or ID card. The word “VETERAN” on their card will indicate they have served in the United States Armed Forces. The Veteran designation will cost an additional $5. To get the new...
 

 

Safety Tips for this holiday season

It’s that time of year once again, and the March ARB Fire Prevention wants to ensure your safety during the holiday season. It is our pleasure to share the following safety tips to help you enjoy the holiday season. Only flame-proof decorations are authorized for use on March ARB. Special decorations or temporary arrangements for...
 
 

CAL FIRE warns of home heating dangers during winter storms

As a major winter storm prepares to hit California, CAL FIRE is reminding residents to take steps to heat their homes safely. While the cooler weather and rain is a welcomed event during a time of severe drought in California, it also means that many will need to turn on home heating sources to keep...
 
 

Gen. Hyten: Future of AF is air, space, cyberspace integration

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The commander of Air Force Space Command talked about the fundamental relationship between space operations and everyday life – not only for the military, but for the American people – during a breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club, Dec. 5. Gen. John E. Hyten, the AFSPC commander, explained the complexities of global...
 




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