Alamo Wing welcomes new Honorary Commanders

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Carlos J. Treviño
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Sixteen civic and business leaders were inducted into the 433rd Airlift Wing's Honorary Commanders Program during a ceremony April 1 in a Northwest San Antonio hotel.

Col. Thomas K. Smith, Jr., 433rd AW commander and host of the sixth annual ceremony, provided opening remarks concerning the variety of backgrounds which comprise the Alamo Wing, and the reasoning for Reservists’ service to their nation and community.

"We are diverse, we are uniform but very diverse," said Smith. "They (Reservists) are both assets to you (civilian employers) and us (the Alamo Wing)."

The Honorary Commanders Program is an executive-level program intended as a forum in which the 433rd AW commander can solicit advice and support from civic leaders on matters affecting military and civilian communities, while cementing the already strong ties between the Alamo Wing and the San Antonio community.

During the ceremony, the commander spoke on the significance of the Honorary Commanders program and its ability to provide community leaders with unique insight into the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

"You (the civilian employers) are an integral part” Smith said. “We are working together with this fantastic asset of ours, 80 percent of our Reservists work for you out in the community," he said.

One of those employers is new to the military lifestyle.

"This is an opportunity to work together to make civilians aware of what the Air Force does and also get them involved in community events,” said Michelle Brown, human resource specialist from Medina Valley Independent School District.

Each of the Alamo Wing's Honorary Commanders is paired with a senior leader from within the wing. Throughout the year, the civilian and military counterparts get to know one another, which allows the community leaders to understand the importance of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and its mission, and in turn giving military leaders a better understanding and appreciation of the community in which they live.

During the ceremony, each honorary commander participated in a reenactment of an official military change of command ceremony - taking the unit's guidon from the "mock outgoing" military commander. The outgoing commanders then present the honorary commanders with an Air Force Commander's Insignia pin. The Commander's Insignia is awarded to any Air Force officer who holds a major command billet in the United States Air Force.

While only 16 of this year's Alamo Wing Honorary Commanders participated in the ceremony, there are 24 positions available in the program.

The 2017 Honorary Commanders class include: Charles Amos, owner, Amos Electric Inc.; Michelle Brown, human resource specialist, Medina Valley Independent School District; Bill Dante, co-owner, Dante Klar Media Group; David Hennessee, Immediate Past Board Chair of the San Antonio Area Foundation; Robert Imler, community and government consultant; Hon. Lisa Jarrett, judge, 436th District Court; Philip Leininger, bank contact center operations, USAA; Tom Long, executive vice president, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; Scott Metzger, founder, Freetail Brewing Company; Tim Montfort, financial advisor, Raymond Montfort Financial, Don Preecs, senior management of quality engineering, Acelity; Tony Ralf, fundraiser, National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Diane Rath, executive director, Alamo Area Council of Governments; Patricia Revollo, district manager and Chair of Starbucks South Central Armed Forces Network, Starbucks; Clay Richmond, vice president, JSWC, Ltd.; Hon. Chris Schuchart, County Judge, Medina County; John Thurman, broker, owner, founder, Heart of Texas Realty; Anthony Treviño, chief of staff, San Antonio Police Department.