Technical and master sergeant promotion release; 21 MSG change of command

Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. -- Last week, the Air Force released the long anticipated technical and master sergeant promotion results, and on June 27, at the promotion release party, I had the distinct honor of meeting the selects.

Of 12,000 eligible staff sergeants who tested, only 18.25 percent earned the next higher rank. It was evident that our staff sergeants assigned to Peterson accepted the challenge and did not turn away from their opportunity to lead; 72 eligible staff sergeants clinched a line number to technical sergeant. I could see in their expressions a sigh of relief that this day had finally come, that this accomplishment was to the result of their hard work and determination. It has been said that technical sergeant is one of the more difficult ranks to obtain, and I commend you all for your effort. You earned this promotion.

Equally impressive were the senior non-commissioned officer statistics: of 24,115 Air Force-wide eligibles, 6,002 technical sergeants were selected to be among the top layer of their profession, the senior non-commissioned officer tier. Accordingly, 86 of our eligible Knights will soon transition from front-line supervisors to primary team leaders. It is now your responsibility to develop your NCOs into better leaders and supervisors; personal and professional growth never finds an end.

In addition to those acknowledged selects, let's not forget that more than 5,000 NCOs will likely be considered for supplemental promotion due to deployments. I look forward to shaking the hands of our very own who will also earn their promotion. Supplemental results will be announced on a monthly basis until all have been considered.

To all selects, congratulations! Your professionalism, competence, and mission focus has earned you the right to assume the next higher grade. You will take on your new leadership responsibilities in a time when the expectations of our leaders are at a historic high. Don't wait to be issued the authority to do something; there are plenty of opportunities out there waiting for you to seize today.

Speaking of taking on a new leadership responsibility, I had the distinct honor of presiding over the 21st Mission Support Group's Change of Command June 30. It was indeed a privilege to execute the seamless transfer of command from one great leader to another. Col. Emily A. Buckman assumed command from Col. Manny A. Hidalgo. Col. Buckman is the perfect leader for the challenges that the 21st MSG will face in the future. We are thrilled to have her join the 21st Space Wing Knights.

As I recall, Colonel Hidalgo originally assumed command of the group with a pledge to take absolute care of the mission and Airmen alike. Make no mistake, he has not only left a legacy in his command of the group, but also a profound number of successes in providing unsurpassed installation support and protection.

In fact, to name only a few, his leadership was responsible for $585 million in military construction and 204 projects valued at $47 million, including our new state-of-the-art West gate. Colonel Hidalgo also oversaw the construction and grand opening of the second largest Department of Defense Commissary and Base Exchange, a project that totaled $34 million. Colonel Hidalgo's determination and relationships with city, state, and federal legislators have set the base on a path for success in implementing our "2050 plan" to keep Peterson AFB viable for another 40-plus years.

Colonel Hidalgo, this installation was proud to have you as a fellow Knight and leader. Best of luck to you as you begin a new chapter with the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va. The teamwork displayed in support of the change of command is a perfect illustration of that exact point.

Under the direction of Capt. Erin Hancock, 1st Lt. Patrick Bass, Master Sgt. Ronald Powell, Tech. Sgt. Denise Blair, and Staff Sgt. Amy Wagner were all instrumental in coordinating the logistical and ancillary support necessary to ensuring the change of command was flawless. Further, Airman 1st Class Erica Hale sang a beautiful rendition of the Nation Anthem. I thank the entire 21st Mission Support Group for making this day an unforgettable moment in time for both the Buckman and Hidalgo families.