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Hail and farewell AMC commanders

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
Friday marks a historic change in leadership for Air Mobility Command as we bid farewell to Gen. Raymond Johns, Jr., who retires after 35 years of service to this nation--four of those as the AMC commander.

The first thing you learn about General Johns is that he loves the people he serves. He is truly devoted to the Airmen and their families, and he leaves a legacy of devotion--evidenced by the AMC enlisted corps presenting him with the Order of the Sword last night, the highest honor that NCOs can bestow upon an individual.

The Order of the Sword is conducted by NCOs to honor leaders who have made significant contributions to the enlisted corps. Earliest traditions hold that NCOs would, on occasion, honor a leader and pledge their loyalty by ceremoniously presenting the leader a sword. The sword--a symbol of truth, justice, and power rightfully used--served as a token for all to see and know that here was a leader among leaders.

The same zeal and devotion he has for his Airmen has been clearly demonstrated in how he led the men and women of AMC to accomplish its mission "so that others may prevail."

It's been an honor and privilege to command a support team at the 375th Air Mobility Wing whose goal is to ensure that AMC can prevail under General Johns' leadership. His influence is vast and the results can be found in the many successes that are too numerous to list, but include humanitarian relief efforts to earthquake-stricken Haiti and tsunami-ravaged Japan, as well as relief efforts from tornadoes, floods and hurricanes stateside.

To support the ongoing missions in Afghanistan and contingency operations around the globe is a daunting task, and General Johns has been the epitome of integrity, selfless service and excellence in everything he does. He has this unique ability to bring to life the past while helping us to see the future. There are many who could add volumes of praise for this leader and indeed the entire Air Force will feel the loss as he retires from active duty--though the positive effects of his leadership will be felt for many years to come.

Cathy and I, along with the entire Showcase Wing, wish to bid General and Mrs. Johns a fond farewell and happy retirement. As General Johns joins the ranks of the thousands of veterans who've served faithfully, we know he'll continue to advocate for America's servicemembers for many years to come.

The change of command ceremony is set--ready for its newest leader, Gen. Paul Selva, who arrives from Hawaii after serving as the vice commander for the Pacific Air Forces. He's no stranger to Scott AFB, having served here in the 618th Air and Space Operations Center (formerly TACC) and with U.S. Transportation Command. We welcome him and Mrs. Selva back and look forward to the bright future ahead for AMC!