Honorary Commander Program returns to Moody

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Smith
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Moody Air Force Base reestablished the 23rd Wing’s Honorary Commander Program with an orientation event, June 24, 2022.

The long-standing program returns after a nearly two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 and is set to include several opportunities each month for community members and commanders to meet and gain awareness of one another’s environments.

From Group immersion days, official ceremonies and events, and social functions–both community leaders and commanders will be able to strengthen bonds and foster relationships between the base and local community.

“The Honorary Commander Program is meant to give our community leaders insight into our mission and to help them understand the vital role Team Moody plays in our country’s defense,” said Col. Russ Cook, 23rdWing commander. “It’s also important for Team Moody to understand the significance community support plays in the success of our mission ... Historically, the local community here has fought on behalf of Moody and we want to make sure we’re maintaining and embracing those relationships that make us worth fighting for.”

A successful program year can mean educating key community leaders about Team Moody’s mission and fostering a supportive relationship, as well as increasing military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations and making members of the local community feel included in the base’s activities.

“This program is a fantastic opportunity to immerse community leaders into the mission of Moody Air Force Base so that our community is better prepared to meet the needs of Airmen and their families,” said Paige Dukes, prior honorary commander and current alumni advisor. “I hope the new honorary commanders gain a greater appreciation of the sacrifices our Airmen and their families make as military members.”

Although an individual can only serve as an honorary commander for one to two years, their experiences and involvement doesn’t have to end there –they can continue on as alumni advisors for future program years.

“As honoraries transfer from active to alumni status, the number of community leaders capable of advocating for Moody Air Force Base grows,” Dukes explained. “As the men and women of Moody defend the world, it’s our community’s job to defend Moody.”

While this is an Air Force initiated program, over the years it has become just as valuable to the local community leaders, Dukes said.

“One of the most valuable aspects of this program is leadership development,” she explained. “No one does leadership better than Moody Air Force Base. Observing the level of ownership and accountability demonstrated on and off base is a gift all on its own.”

The Air Force is responsible for establishing and maintaining personal contact with local civic leaders and the Honorary Commander Program is intended for just that. With the intent to create one-on-one opportunities to inform and educate local community leaders about the missions of the United States Air Force, every base has the ability to learn and grow with their communities.