MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Team Moody celebrated 10 new chief master sergeants and chief master sergeant selects during the Chief Recognition Ceremony (CRC), March 20, 2021.
The ceremony celebrated five senior master sergeants who were recently selected for chief and five chief master sergeants who were promoted in 2020 whose chief recognition ceremony was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The time-honored tradition is a rite of passage for Airmen selected for E-9 as they make the transition into their role as the most senior of non-commissioned officers in the U.S. Air Force.
“Upon accepting this responsibility, a Chief knows how to lead by example and pass on their leadership qualities and efforts to assist enlisted and officers alike to allow growth,” said Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Edwards, 93d Air Ground Operations Group command chief and CRC guest speaker. “The Chief imparts belongingness, relays the ‘why’ and provides the resources when needed. This ability to connect should be inherent in a Chief because they didn’t get to where they are today just by good leadership qualities; but they got there because they were also great followers throughout their career.”
Edwards challenged the new chiefs to listen, advocate and take care of their Airmen and mission.
“A Chief is an ultimate advocate for the enlisted force that they have been charged to lead,” Edwards said. “A chief is someone who undoubtedly cares about the people, listens to input and provides feedback. In turn, the chief uses that information to assist the unit and its personnel to ensure the mission is successful. A chief should be visible, available, and tuned in to the squadron, group, wing, or whatever echelon they are entrusted to lead our Airmen.”
Senior Master Sgt. Joe Holdcroft, 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons section chief who will pin on Chief on 1 April, said the path to the ceremony started long ago and did not happen independently but required a team and family effort.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be selected into this elite group,” Holdcroft said. “As a young Airman, I always had aspirations to hopefully make it to the top one percent. As the years passed and the ranks came, I never took any of it for granted. It wasn’t always easy, but I came to work, did my job to the best of my abilities, learned from mistakes and strived to be a better Airman, husband, father and person each and every day.
“To be recognized into the top 1 percent was a huge deal for me and my family. And as they announced mine and my wife’s name, and we started our journey through the sabers, we felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. All of our hard work through the numerous deployments, countless temporary duty and short tours assignments, and all of the long hours to make the mission happen was paying off. I say ‘ours’ because we do not get to this point in our careers by ourselves. It takes teamwork -- from top to bottom. Luckily for myself, I have had an outstanding support team that starts with my wife and she has been on this journey with me since right after I joined.”
Holdcroft, a 23-year Aircraft Armament Systems superintendent offered advice to Airmen at all ranks.
“Control what you can control and make the best of every opportunity that you are given,” Holdcroft said. “Never forget where you came from and always do what’s best for your team and the Airmen. If you take care of them, they will take care of you!”
Each of the 2020 and 2021 honorees received a framed and embroidered chief stripe with words of encouragement from their military family and a plate that reads “Congratulations Chief and Well Deserved!!”
Congratulations to the newest chief master sergeants and chief master sergeant selects:
Senior Master Sgt. Brett Lafreniere, 823d Base Defense Squadron,
Senior Master Sgt. Ernest Willich, 820th Combat Operations Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Gallagher, 823d Base Defense Squadron
Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Dugan, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Holdcroft, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Ladd, 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. Isaac Moses, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hedglin, 38th Rescue Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Robinette 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Chief Master Sgt. Neil Stokley, 23d Maintenance Group