145th Airlift Wing Gains new Command Chief Master Sergeant
By by SrA Thomas Arndt, 145th Airlift Wing
/ Published March 10, 2021
Charlotte Air National Guard Base, NC --
Service members of the 145th Airlift Wing welcomed their new Command Chief Master Sgt. William R. Harper, Jr. during an Change of Authority ceremony on March 6, 2021 at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Chief Master Sgt. Harper took command from Command Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz during the Change of Authority Ceremony presided over by Col. Joseph H. Stepp IV, the commander of the 145th Airlift Wing, who shared some words of encouragement to the incoming Command Chief.
“Chief Master Sgt. Harper is adept at rebuilding broken vehicles and mechanical things… however, I am most looking forward to him rebuilding broken units,” stated Col. Stepp.
Chief Master Sgt. Harper enlisted in the Air Force in October of 1984 as an Airlift Aircraft Maintenance Specialist. Over his career, he has worked as a Crew Chief on C-130 Hercules aircraft and as a Flight Engineer for the 156th Airlift Squadron. Chief Master Sgt. Harper’s first assignment to the Superintendent level was in 2009 as the 156th Airlift Squadron Flight Engineer Chief Enlisted Manager.
Since 2017, Chief Master Sgt. Harper served as the principle advisor to the Operations Group Commander as the 145th Operations Group superintendent. While Superintendent, Chief Master Sgt. Harper provided leadership, the management of resources, interpreted and enforced policies, and managed directives for the group to meet home station and expeditionary mission requirements. Due to Chief Master Sgt. Harper’s various roles and responsibilities, he is used to setting, maintaining and executing goals.
“Our first goal is to be prepared for our upcoming exercises, inspections, and to be ready to transition to in-person operations once it is safe to do so,” stated Chief Master Sgt. Harper.
Chief Master Sgt. Harper acknowledged the challenge of the new position and accepted the sword as the new Command Chief of the 145th Airlift Wing. Chief Master Sgt. Harper remarked, “The mission is first, but the people are the most important asset we have, and without the people, the mission cannot be done.”