Change of Command

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Thomas Gee
  • 180th Public Affairs
A celebration of both continuity and change was held in the Mission Support Flight, Saturday, December 6. The MSF said goodbye to retiring Commander, Lt. Col. MaryThom Williams, and welcomed incoming Commander, Lt. Col. Christy Rowzee, as a part of the official Change of Command Ceremony during the December Unit Training Assembly. All MSF personnel were on hand to witness this rare and riveting military tradition. The Change of Command from Williams to Rowzee is believed to be one of the first female-to-female personnel Command changes in the State of Ohio. 

Col. Nancy August, Mission Support Group Commander and a member of the official party, took the opportunity to thank Williams for her 30 years of dedicated service. "Lt. Col. Williams was an excellent example of leadership that we have in the Air National Guard today," said August. "I commend you for the excellent job you did and you can stand proud today." 

Rowzee, who was the Personnel Readiness Officer at the 180th prior to her selection as new MSF Commander, addressed the personnel after she assumed command of the flight. "I am honored to be given the opportunity to try and pick up where Lt. Col. Williams is leaving off," said Rowzee. "As she turns over the Command, she leaves behind her a legacy of service, dedication and success that I hope to emulate." 

After the Change of Command ceremony, MSF honored Williams with several retirement awards. She was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster, a retirement certificate, Minuteman Trophy and United States Flag. 

Williams, whose military career began in 1978, reflected on her time and service as she addressed the MSF one last time with her comments stressing the critical importance of "being prepared". "If I can give you any words of advice it is to be prepared," said Williams. "Be prepared for the sense of pride and camaraderie that underlies everything you do, for the respect of your peers, your family and your community for what you do every time you put on the uniform," said Williams. 

"As I say farewell to you all today, please remember and never forget no matter where my travels lead me I will always be an American Airman." 

Congratulations to Lt. Col. MaryThom Williams for a long and distinguished career and best wishes to Lt. Col. Christy Rowzee as she assumes Command of the Mission Support Flight.

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