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Status quo “no-go” Funk challenges troops to excel

MXG CoC Photo 2019

152nd Airlift Wing Commander, Col. Eric Wade passes the colors, hence the command of the 152nd Maintenance Group to Lt. Col. Tom Funk Feb. 10 at an assumption of command ceremony in the base wing auditorium at the Nevada Air National Guard Base, Reno, Nev.

RENO, Nev. --

Lt. Col. Tom Funk assumed command of the 152nd Maintenance Group here Feb. 10 with a brief lesson on the origin of the word “maintain,” meaning “in the hand,” and further breaking it down into, “to keep.” He explained to his troops why that was important.

“During my time, we will maintain our fleet, we will maintain our professionalism, we will maintain our candor,” Funk said during his assumption of command ceremony at the Nevada Air National Guard Base’s wing auditorium. “We’ll make sure we are being honest and open with each other, but the one thing we will not maintain is the status quo.”

Presiding official, Col. Eric Wade, 152nd Airlift Wing commander, opened the ceremony recognizing Funk’s accomplishments.

“It was easy decision to put Tom in the Maintenance Group commander position because of his wealth of experience and his knowledge of maintenance,” Wade said. 

Funk enlisted in 1991. He commissioned in 1998 and has been a flight commander, a squadron commander for two different squadrons, and also served as the base inspector general. He has several deployments on his resume, including one in Iraq.

“His experience in being the inspector general brings a huge base of knowledge and a skill that a commander should understand,” Wade said. “Adding that breadth of experience with the knowledge of being a squadron commander for two squadrons, which are the front-line commands where, in my opinion, commanders get their best experience.”

As a hands-on leader, Funk likes to be one-on-one with his troops. 

“It’s a shift to managing managers, and that is very different, because I very much like to get down at the Airman level, that’s just how I like to operate, not so much for lack of trust, but I have better interaction one-on-one and know where everyone is coming from,” Funk said. 

“Every day, if we promise ourselves to incrementally to do something positive in terms of whether it’s our attitude, whether it’s our competency or whether it’s our relationships, we will be unstoppable as a group and certainly as a wing, if we promise ourselves to do that thing.”