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NCANG welcomes new state command chief

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran
  • 145th Public Affairs
On a windy afternoon in February, airmen stood in formation on the tarmac at the North Carolina Air National Guard base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport to say farewell to State Command Chief Master Sgt. Bruce G. Pickett. After serving over 30 years in the military, Pickett relinquished his positon to newly appointed State Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael D. Stanley during a Change of Authority ceremony held on February 8, 2015. 

Following tradition, Brig. Gen. Roger E. Williams, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General-Air, formally oversaw the ceremony that relinquished the responsibility and authority from Pickett to Stanley with the passing of the ceremonious sword.

As the new state command chief, Stanley will be the senior enlisted representative for more than 1200 enlisted members of the North Carolina Air National Guard. He will be responsible for giving advice to the adjutant general and the commander of the NCANG on several issues, to include: mission effectiveness, professional development, military readiness, training, utilization, health, morale and welfare of the command's enlisted Airmen.

Before assuming authority in the highest enlisted position of the NCANG, Stanley held the role of First Sergeant for 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 145th Airlift Wing.

"I was selected, by then Lt. Col. Barbara Doncaster to serve as the Logistics Squadron First Sergeant. It was my third attempt and it turned out to be the "charm." said Stanley, "Serving as a First Sergeant changed the path of my Air Force career." emotionally he added, "Thank you Col. Doncaster, for giving me a chance."

Stanley, who has served more than 33 years in the military, entered the Air Force in 1982 as fuels specialists. He has deployed several times supporting many contingencies including Operations El Dorado Canyon, Desert Shield, Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. He served seven years on active duty in several stateside and overseas assignments. Stanley transferred to the Air Force Reserves in 1989 where he continued to serve as a Fuels Specialist. In 1992, he joined the North Carolina Army National Guard as a Petroleum Laboratory Specialist and in 1995 furthered his military career when he took a position in the 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron, NCANG.

During the week Stanley wears a different uniform as a fulltime firefighter. Serving his community for over 19 years, Stanley dedicates his life to protecting and serving others. His most recent assignment as a N.C. State firefighter has him located at the Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport where he as an Aircraft Rescue Firefighter (AFFF).

As he assumes authority over his new post and relocates to Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., Stanley reminds his airmen that he is not saying goodbye to the 145th Airlift Wing. "It's an opportunity to serve the men and women of the Air National Guard on a different level."  said Stanley.
Along with an audience that included many Mecklenburg and Rowan County firefighters, military members, dignitaries including N.C. Rep. Bill Brawley, of the 103rd House District and family and friends, sat Stanley's wife, Leanne, and their three children .

In his remarks from the podium, Stanley thanked his children and his wife for their support throughout his career. "She is my rock!" said Stanley. "She has stood with me through numerous TDY's, military schools and conferences. She has withered five deployments since 2001 all while raising three wonderful kids. Leanne understands military families; she understands the impact our unique job and the impact deployments have on our relationships!

In his closing speech, Stanley said to the members of the Wing, "I want you to know I am proud and grateful to be standing here with you all as a member of our 145th Airlift Wing family. I do not take this position lightly. I believe it is an honor and a privilege to serve as your North Carolina State Command Chief."