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Change of Command: Celebrate Parade Rest


Although geese fly in formation, they did not waddle on the parade field at Scott AFB. No goose steps. The left feet hit the turf on the beat of the bass drum. Flights, squadrons, groups and wings presented polished top notched personnel, as always, ready to shine and report to General Welsh, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Our military has a time honored tradition to uphold precision and honor in a way that showcases the challenge of working together. The step by step, in step march of men and women blends the missions the training and the esprit de corps of individual squadrons, groups and wings: they all meet this challenge in a Change of Command.

At attention, ready for orders.
AMC Change of Command ceremony
Link to the Change of Command 

The old adage "You'll fight in war as you train in peace" holds true for change of command. There is purpose, movement, orders and reactions. Best, there is a beginning and an end. The mission goes forward, the driving force of the Air Force is flying high, and the world is impressed.


Air Mobility Command has a leader, General Paul Selva, a stellar strength, ready to excite and challenge. General Welsh said, "I know you will treat your Airmen as your own, and instill in them a desire to lift Air Mobility Command to even greater heights."
The colors march by for review.
Work is always there to be done. Leadership does not stay behind but announces itself with confidence, performance and a presence that welcomes success. Those who participated in the change of command ceremony, those who stood at attention, bore flags, marched in cadence did so under direction. The day was fantastic. The Air Force heritage has gotten richer. Sleep tight America, your Air Force is awake.

Change of command ceremonies are steeped in tradition. Rich in military history, these ceremonies predate the Norman conquest of England and are a formal, symbolic passing of responsibility, authority, and accountability of command from one leader to another. The ceremony also provides the outgoing leader an opportunity to say goodbye to those who have been under his or her command, and for the new commanding officer to meet personnel.

General Paul Selva accepting guidon from GeneralWelsh
A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. The change of command ceremony is best described by a quote from Victor Hugo: " Change your leaves; keep intact your roots." The passing of the guidon, standards from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its airmen are never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of airmen to their unit's commander. The traditions of a change of command ceremony include great symbolism. An inspection and review of soldiers and the military band are part of the ceremony. For those unfamiliar with the term, a guidon is a flag or pennant that identifies a company, troop, or organization. Passing the guidon from one Commander to another represents the passing of trust and well being of a sector from one to another, but it also perpetuates the seamless tradition of vigilance, service and integrity. With all uniformed officers and enlisted personnel standing at attention the outgoing Commander passes the guidon to his successor. The New Commander salutes the outgoing Commander and says, " Sir, I assume command."

Look up while you are outside, you might see geese on the wing.  It is that time of year for transition.  Their task seems imbedded in their DNA.  They fly in formation checking 6 and a spirit that carries them on to find food and rest.  The airlift, refueling and humanitarian missions of AMC are purposed with this intent too.

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do and you've done it."
Margaret Thatcher 
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