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Gen. Handy inducted into Order of the Sword at Scott

by Tech. Sgt. Ben Gonzales
437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Representatives from the 43,000-strong Air Mobility Command enlisted force honored the commander of U.S. Transportation Command and AMC during an Order of the Sword ceremony here July 29.

More than 400 Airmen commandwide along with Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units attended the ceremony honoring Gen. John W. Handy, as he became the seventh person in AMC to receive the Order of the Sword.

"The Order of the Sword is the highest honor and tribute noncommissioned officers can bestow upon an individual," said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Kerver, AMC command chief. "General Handy is a leader among leaders and a man among men. It is only befitting we honor him by pledging our loyalty to him with a symbol of power, strength and justice."

The evening ceremony began as Airmen and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray welcomed General Handy. After dinner, two honor guard Airmen here carried the ceremonial sword into the ballroom. The sword stands more than 6 feet tall and requires two people to carry.

Also during the evening, every enlisted attendee signed a proclamation swearing an oath of loyalty to General Handy. The scroll was presented to the general later that evening.

"In my almost 39 years of service, no one left more of an impression on me than Master Sergeant Cliff Brasil," said General Handy, who first met the Airman in 1968 when he was a second lieutenant. "He was my first sergeant and was a role model for me and was the sharpest (noncommissioned officer). I thought of him throughout my career and hoped I could match his professionalism and high standards."

Set to retire this fall, the general offered the enlisted Airmen some advice.

"Someone is looking to you to be a 'Cliff Brasil.' Each of you doing your work with pride, professionalism and dedication has empowered me to do things for you," the general said. "You all have made me so proud to wear our uniform. I am so proud of you all." (Courtesy of AMC News Service)

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