149 FW Command Chief retires

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- KELLY FIELD ANNEX, JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The command chief master sergeant of the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard was ceremoniously retired after 35 years of military service at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Feb. 25, 2017.

Command Chief Master Sgt. George B. Longoria of San Antonio served his entire career with the 149th, serving in the 149th Communications Flight, before being selected to serve as the wing’s command chief in 2011.

“Some people might call this work,” Longoria said in an earlier interview about his retirement. “I never called it work. I just know that I didn’t have any trouble sleeping at night because I gave it a whirl.”

Serving his entire career at the 149th, in various roles, Longoria attributes the success of his career to his family, friends and colleagues that surround him.

“I realized that along with the people it was our Core Values that made a huge impact in my career and led me to this day,” Longoria said. “I truly believe you are only as good as those around you, and I have had the privilege to work for some heroic leaders (and) alongside some amazing and brilliant airmen.”

Many friends and colleagues took to the podium during the ceremony to remark on his long and distinguished career with the wing.

One of those impacted by Longoria was Col. Susan M. Dickens, commander of the 149th Mission Support Group. She reflected on the time they spent working together.

“I got a lot of mentoring and I loved every minute of it and sought it out regularly because I knew I could trust it,” said Dickens.

Longoria’s speech focused more on the people than on himself. He used words of encouragement for everyone to succeed.

“Today, I challenge all of you, when the opportunity lends itself, present guidance or direction,” he said. “Do not wait for things to happen, make things happen.”

Longoria said he is proud to be associated with the 149th Fighter Wing, whose members are known as the Lone Star Gunfighters.

“I will be a Gunfighter for life, supporting your efforts even beyond my last official duty day. I owe more to the 149th Fighter Wing and Air National Guard than I could ever repay.”

Col. Timothy Madden, the wing’s commander, expressed personal appreciation for Longoria during his remarks.

“I can’t thank you enough,” Madden said, “for your mentoring and your leadership, your friendship, your patience.”

He also thanked Longoria’s family for their support of the chief’s service.

“He’s a big deal,” Madden said. “Thank you for sharing him with us.”

Longoria said he plans to travel and spend time with his family following his retirement. He expressed confidence in the future of the wing.

“I’m very proud of this wing and I know I’m leaving it in good hands, and everyone will take it to the next level,” said Longoria. “I’m honored to be a part of this organization. I’m extremely blessed to have had that opportunity.”