HomeNewsArticle Display

Enlisted corps bestows highest honor upon Welsh

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III thanks Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and members of the mess during the Order of the Sword dining-in, April 22, 2016, in Montgomery, Ala. The Order of the Sword is bestowed to those who have made significant contributions to the Air Force enlisted corps, and during his speech Welsh shared experiences in his career that shaped his opinion of the enlisted corps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III thanks Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and members of the mess during the Order of the Sword dining-in, April 22, 2016, in Montgomery, Ala. The Order of the Sword is bestowed to those who have made significant contributions to the Air Force enlisted corps, and during his speech Welsh shared experiences in his career that shaped his opinion of the enlisted corps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody ushers in Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III at the Order of the Sword dining-in April 22, 2016, in Montgomery, Ala. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody ushers in Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III at the Order of the Sword dining-in April 22, 2016, in Montgomery, Ala. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III thanks Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and members of the mess during the Order of the Sword dining-in, April 22, 2016, in Montgomery, Ala. The Order of the Sword is bestowed to those who have made significant contributions to the Air Force enlisted corps, and during his speech Welsh shared experiences in his career that shaped his opinion of the enlisted corps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, right, presents the Order of the Sword to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, left, April 22, 2016, in Montgomery, Ala. The Order of the Sword is the highest honor the enlisted corps can bestow to an individual. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III was inducted into the Air Force Order of the Sword during a ceremony April 22 in Montgomery, Alabama.

An ancient tradition adopted by the Air Force in 1967, the Order of the Sword is the highest level of honor and tribute the enlisted corps can give its leaders. The sword symbolizes honor, truth, justice and power, and the induction distinguishes a leader among leaders.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody presented the sword to Welsh, and he explained that the Order of the Sword is for those leaders who have made significant contributions to the enlisted corps.

"Tonight, the entire Air Force is honoring you, all of the enlisted Airmen that you have helped," Cody said. "They are all thinking of you and saying, 'What a great leader.' And I can say that you have redefined what it means to be a good leader among leaders and what it means to know an Airman."

Before the ceremony, a junior-enlisted Airman had an encounter with Welsh that exemplified the reason why the general was being honored.

While standing and waiting for Welsh's arrival, Airman Andrew Dang, a 42nd Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, admitted to the surrounding chief master sergeants that he wanted to shake Welsh’s hand. The chiefs thought this was a great idea, so when Welsh walked by, they nudged Dang toward him. The Airman quickly shook his hand but was shocked when Welsh invited him to walk into the venue with him.

"It was such a privilege, because of all the people in the room, he chose me, an Airman to walk with him," Dang said. "I was awestricken, it was amazing. I am truly thankful."

Welsh has gained the reputation of reaching out and connecting with Airmen wherever he goes, and the Order of the Sword ceremony was no different. Before presenting Welsh with the sword, Cody commended the general for his concern and care for Airmen.

"This is a significant way to honor you and there is no better example of a leader who should have it, but it almost pales in comparison to what you have given us as an Air Force," he said.

In his remarks, Welsh shared a story from his career that shaped his opinion of the Air Force's enlisted corps.

While deployed during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Welsh said he had lost a pilot from his squadron. In his grief, he went to the chaplain's tent where he sat alone until an Airman came in and put his arm around him and just sat with him.

"He didn't have to check on me to see if I was OK," Welsh said. "He certainly didn't have to sit there and grieve with me, and he somehow had the brilliance to not say anything or to interject his feelings about how bad he felt; he just felt it with me. I'll never forget him, but that's what the enlisted corps does. They do what's necessary, and they do it when it's necessary and they do it until it's time to move on to the next task. They always take care of their own."

Welsh concluded his comments with a charge and a debt of gratitude to all Airmen.

"I do love you. Take care of each other. Lead our Airmen. Keep standing for what you stand for, and if any of you ever need help, find me. I'd be honored if you called," he said.

Engage

Twitter
"As a healthcare worker to say that ‘I trust it’, I’m going to demonstrate that I trust it and at the same time I t… https://t.co/F3Obpb8ciH
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard and active-duty Airmen were deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan to conduct Dynamic F… https://t.co/LUzcvqyM9V
Twitter
#ICYMI - The #AirForce and @DoDSpaceForce is seeking feedback through a survey for the second Independent Disparity… https://t.co/E4tjTSXUEF
Twitter
RT @WrightPattAFB: Airmen provide vaccinations “These Airmen are so excited to be part of the solution for our nation to effectively move b…
Twitter
RT @KadenaAirBase: Airmen from the 18th Component Maintenance Squadron Hydraulics Shop ensure that #TeamKadena's aircraft are always ready…
Twitter
“It is good to remember how we got here and what it took for the previous generations to fight the battle of lettin… https://t.co/9gc1e2iaLd
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: When #Airmen are empowered, nothing should stand in their way of making positive change. #acceleratechangeorlose https://…
Twitter
Ending the spread of #COVID19 https://t.co/PCPw2vufLS
Twitter
Chaplain (Maj.) Gabriel Rios assumed the #AirForce's 1st stole at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The stole represents… https://t.co/BcgHvsKwjM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Digital engineering is helping the Air & Space Forces, along with defense partners, field programs smarter & faster. The…
Twitter
“I saw my wingmen with families and young kids and didn’t want them to have to be away for too long, so I decided i… https://t.co/7lsjIymSyx
Twitter
"[Dr. Victoria Coleman] brings a wealth of expertise in both academia and industry. She recognizes that pushing the… https://t.co/73Otu5znlQ
Twitter
A Virtual Teen Camp will offer an introduction to aviation, and career and leadership opportunities within the… https://t.co/Hn0XBDu5uH
Twitter
The Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar program office at @Hanscom_AFB, Massachusetts, is currently ut… https://t.co/kppBPFby6h
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The review we conducted last year, & the follow up efforts we’ve taken since, have really opened the door to meaningful,…
Twitter
Take a look at the most recent Week in Photos! Which one is your favorite? More at: https://t.co/HYMo58J8u6 https://t.co/VCR3yRicIl
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: F-16s get topped off with fuel by a KC-135 while supporting CJTF-OIR, where the main mission is to Defeat Da'esh. #FightToWin
Twitter
.@146AirliftWing Airmen administer #COVID19 vaccines to military dependents at the Channel Islands Air National Gua… https://t.co/1Zq9vmf9w2
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,341,907
Follow Us