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.


 
 

 

BASH: Protecting our aircraft, Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Bari Wald David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of Marchs’ Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, prepares to fire a 12-gauge ‘shell cracker’ into the air with his shotgun. Firing ‘shell crackers’ is one of many pyrotechnic methods used in the BASH program to...
 
 
US_Air_Force_Logo

Strategic agility is the future of the Air Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As the Air Force prepares for new challenges and opportunities of the coming decades, it faces sobering 21st-century realities: global centers of power have become more distributed and the terrorism th...
 
 

SECAF: Air Force grapples with Congress to fund readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — To balance readiness today and modernization tomorrow, the Air Force’s fiscal year 2015 budget request is shrinking like today’s defense budget thanks to Congress’s own priorities and the approaching threat of sequestration in 2016, Air Force leaders said July 30. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief...
 

 
BlueTube

Voting now open for American Airman Video Contest

  Voting for the 2014 American Airman Video Contest is now open and runs until Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. CDT. The contest launched July 1 for all Total Force Airmen to showcase their Air Force stories in short selfie videos. “Ev...
 
 

AF implements career intermission pilot program

WASHINGTON — Up to 40 active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officers and enlisted members who meet eligibility requirements will be offered between one and three years of partially-paid time out of uniform to focus on personal and professional pursuits under the Career Intermission Pilot Program, or CIPP, Air Force officials announced July...
 
 

Air Force to change enlisted evaluations, promotions

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials announced a series of sweeping changes to the Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS) July 31. The changes are intended to ensure the Air Force truly makes job performance the driving factor and will be implemented incrementally beginning in August 2014 and continuing through early 2016....
 




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