Johnston, Iowa --
The Iowa Air National Guard conducted a change of responsibility ceremony at Joint Force Headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, October 6. Command Chief Master Sgt. Thomas (T.J.) Fennell assumed responsibility as the Iowa Air National Guard command chief master sergeant from Command Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Cochran.
Fennell accepted the Ceremonial SABRE and then addressed the room, “What an incredibly humbling experience it is, to be here receiving the honor and responsibility of the 7th State CCM,” he said. “I am so very excited to take on the challenges of today following the incredible work completed by my predecessors.”
Brig. Gen. Shawn Ford, Deputy Adjutant General – Air, expressed his gratitude to CCM Cochran and presented CCM Fennell with his expectations and vote of confidence that he will be able to succeed in his new role, “CMSgt Cochran, thank you for your outstanding job representing the Airmen of the Iowa Air National Guard. CMSgt Fennell, as you know, you have some large shoes to fill. I will rely on you to be my Wingman and let me know the things that are impacting our people.”
CCM Fennel is prepared and willing to accept his responsibilities as state CCM. As he addressed the JFHQ audience, he provided his guidance, “If we are to continue our tradition of excellence, we must remain ready and prepared for any unexpected challenges we might face in an uncertain tomorrow. This will require the development of a motivated, highly trained, fit, agile, and educated enlisted force. An enlisted force that is resilient and able to adapt as the challenges unfold.”
He ensured that the state leadership is committed to its members, and closed with, “We [on the leadership team] will be working very hard to ensure that all of our units within our organization have high morale and that our members feel inspired to continue their growth as American Airmen,” he said. “We are confident that our enlisted force will be prepared to adapt to stressors and challenges with high motivation and enhanced agility.”
Cochran thanked his family, colleagues, officers and enlisted members of the IA Air Guard for his tenure and achievements, and finished with, “It’s been the experience of a lifetime to be a part of the profession of arms; with un-paralled opportunity to excel.”
There is one CCM for each ANG state, territory and the District of Columbia assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters. The State CCM is the senior enlisted leader for their respective state. They are an integral member of the organization’s leadership team and are responsible for channeling of communications from the commander to all enlisted members. He or she is selected by the Adjutant General, reports directly to the Adjutant General and is a member of his or her staff. [AFI 36-2109]