Reno, Nev. --
I want to say how honored I am to have this opportunity to serve the Airmen of the Nevada Air National Guard and represent you at the state and national levels.
I want to thank Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, Col. Jeremy Ford, and all the commanders that have offered me opportunities to grow and develop over the years. I want to make a special note about my wife Jeannette – she has been by my side for the last 27 years. Through it all, she has been my guiding light and that subtle voice of reason when I am drifting off course. I want to say thank you to my three sons – Joseph, Reed, and Christopher – they have sacrificed a great deal as I was away from home. I want to thank the Chiefs –Benton, Prizina, Drisdale, Scurry, Martini, Nelan, Kimsey, Warner, Schy, Bright, Wainscoat, and the rest that took the time to guide me along the way. The examples set by The First Sergeants and the 152nd Maintainers forged my Air National Guard mettle. More than anything, I want to thank the Airmen – you are the ones who dedicate yourselves to service a higher calling to be of service to the community and our nation.
I am here at this juncture because of all of you and all the opportunities, interactions, and challenges we have experienced together. I am grateful for the chance to continue to serve this great state and country. Starting in 1985 as a delayed entry program poolee through the following years as an active duty United States Marine, a First Sergeant offered me a chance to correct my course and be better than I thought I could be. I went to the reserves, and I embraced that opportunity and worked hard to be the best Marine I could be. I was afforded several excellent opportunities to work with some of the best the Marine Corps has to offer. Serving both Active and Reserve taught me the value of being a member of the operational reserves and the vital role it plays in the mission.
I left the military in July of 1997 after my time in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) elapsed and went to work and continued working at Harrah’s as an HVAC/R coordinator. The Marines gave me the drive to continue to develop professionally, and I did just that, taking courses and honing my skills. I eventually became a supervisor in the engineering department at Lake Tahoe. The desire to be around my Veteran brothers and sisters was never far from my mind, and in 2003, I found myself working at the VA hospital in Reno. I continued to take classes and build on my knowledge and experience working as the Emergency Manager and Environmental Specialist and finally becoming an Engineering Technician. During this time frame, a window of opportunity opened, and I returned to the military.
I joined the Nevada Air National Guard in September of 2008 and began this next leg of my adventure. I have worked as a crew chief, First Sergeant, Maintenance Operations Flight chief, and finally, the group superintendent. I completed my Community Colleges of the Air Force degree, an Associates of Science degree, and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree. An opportunity to attend the Naval War College Leadership in the Profession of Arms Course has become a pivotal moment in my personal development. It’s a mantra of the Nevada Guard to be ready for when the opportunity presents itself, and I have taken that to heart. Understanding that I need to learn, adjust and grow constantly – not just finish a class and call it good or complete only the required minimum courses. I owe it to all of you to bring the best possible person I can to the table – and that can’t be accomplished by just meeting the required membership tasks. With each new course or certification, I see how much more can help me develop beyond what I think I can be.
Moving forward, I owe you three things – First, I owe you my utmost respect for who you are and what you bring to the fight every day in and out of uniform. Next – I owe you the opportunity to grow and become the best possible version of yourself that you desire to be. Lastly, I owe you my time – I will be involved and engaged, and I will continue to grow and develop my leadership and skills to bring the best of myself to the table every day.