New co-chairman joins Air Force’s retiree council
By Tammy Cournoyer, Air Force Retiree Services
/ Published February 17, 2016
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- A new co-chairman will share the head of the table at this year's Air Force Retiree Council meeting in May.
Retired Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog, who left active duty in October, succeeds retired Lt. Gen. Steven Polk as council co-chair with retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley.
The co-chairs serve as personal advisers to the chief of staff and the secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding retirees and their families. Hoog's appointment was announced by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III.
Meeting at the Air Force Personnel Center, the council receives briefings on today's Air Force structure from senior members of the Air Staff and other Air Force elements. This information helps the 19-member panel address issues submitted from 100 base-level retiree activities offices worldwide. Subjects range from health care to publication of the Afterburner newsletter to various benefit and entitlement enhancements. Recommendations on key issues are forwarded to the Air Force chief of staff and subject matter experts.
Hoog attended a council orientation in early February where he was able to meet with Polk and McKinley to discuss his new role and responsibilities.
"As a fairly new retiree myself, I am impressed with the support and services the Air Force strives to provide its retirees, their families and surviving spouses," Hoog said. "I'm looking forward to serving on the council beside others who care deeply about our retiree family."
A native of the Bay Area in California, Hoog is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours, including 181 combat hours over Bosnia and Iraq.
During his tenure as co-chair, Polk was instrumental in bolstering commander support for base-level retiree activities offices and reviving the hard-copy mailing of the Afterburner for retirees and annuitants without Internet access.
"It was an honor and a privilege to serve with each council member and with CMSAFs (Gerald) Murray and McKinley -- professionals all and still serving," Polk said. "I'm proud of the work and accomplishments we handled as a team, and I'm grateful for the strong support of (former CSAF) Gen. Norton Schwartz and Gen. Welsh. I'm especially proud of the enthusiastic RAO volunteers worldwide who continue to serve our Air Force every day."