145th Maintenance Group welcomes newly promoted commander Published Jan. 30, 2016 By Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter 145th Public Affairs CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Airmen of the 145th Maintenance Group (MXG) gathered to observe the promotion of Lt. Col. Allan R. Cecil to the rank of colonel, as well as observe the passing of the guidon to signify the unit's Change of Command on Jan. 9, 2016. Seating for the ceremony was overflowing as many crowded behind the audience and stood along the walls. With 31 years of service, Col. Cecil started his career in the North Carolina Air National Guard as an Airman 1st Class in the 156th Weather Flight. Cecil felt honored to be promoted to the rank of Colonel. He attributed his success to those who invested time to mentor him along the way. "I started as an enlisted member and became a Master Sergeant. I developed a strong foundation through mentorship and it's helped me understand some of the challenges Airmen face today," said Cecil. Cecil was commissioned in 1997 and converted to a maintenance officer in 2005. In August of 2006 he became the commander of the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "I've been in maintenance longer than anywhere else. This is where my heart is," said Cecil. After Cecil's promotion, Col. Stephen Mallette relinquished command of the 145th MXG to Col. Marshall C. Collins, commander of the 145th Airlift Wing, then Collins passed the guidon to Cecil signifying Cecil's assumption of command. "Colonel Mallet has been a great commander and is an advocate for maintenance. He spoke up for the men and women in the group many times," said Collins. Command of the 145th Maintenance Group is historically a flight officer, but Cecil is the first non-flying maintenance officer to hold the flag. "Previous commanders have raised the bar and the Group has definitely benefited from their leadership. I feel excited and ready to take on this role," said Cecil. Members of the 145th Airlift Wing and Maintenance Group rendered a salute to their new commander then gathered in a line after the ceremony that stretched the length of the hanger to congratulate Col. Cecil on his promotion and assumption of command. "We're excited to have him as our new commander. I think it's a good thing for us because he knows maintenance and his heart is in it," said Tech. Sgt. Irene Smith from the 145th Maintenance Operations Squadron. Cecil plans to focus on adapting to change and a new generation of Airmen. "I intend to continue my predecessor's great work by focusing on our people, executing the mission and developing a mindset of change," said Cecil.