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Patriotic Article
Military

By Sr. Airman Amanda M. Dick

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Airmen Bestow Highest Enlisted Honor
(September 13, 2010)

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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (9/9/2010 - AFNS) -- Airmen from across U.S. Air Forces in Europe came together to induct USAFE Commander Gen. Roger A. Brady into the Order of the Sword during a ceremony here Sept. 8.
As the 19th recipient of USAFE's Order of the Sword, General Brady was given the highest honor someone can receive from the Air Force's enlisted corps.

"I'm touched that you all are here tonight," the general said. "While I am the grateful recipient of this wonderful recognition, I'm much more comfortable talking about what I think this award symbolizes to me, and that's really about you."

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert D. Gaylor, a former chief master sergeant of the Air Force attended the ceremony to honor General Brady.

"This is a very special evening for both you and for me," Chief Gaylor said. "General Brady, what a great night that the Airmen of your command, the enlisted members, have chosen to honor you with this Order of the Sword
 Gen. Roger A. Brady and Chief Master Sgt. Pamela Derrow pass under the Arch of Sabers during an Order of the Sword ceremony Sept. 8, 2010, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As the 19th recipient of USAFE's Order of the Sword, General Brady was given the highest honor someone can receive from the Air Force's enlisted corps. General Brady is the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander. Chief Derrow is the USAFE command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Desiree Esposito
Gen. Roger A. Brady and Chief Master Sgt. Pamela Derrow pass under the Arch of Sabers during an Order of the Sword ceremony Sept. 8, 2010, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As the 19th recipient of USAFE's Order of the Sword, General Brady was given the highest honor someone can receive from the Air Force's enlisted corps. General Brady is the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander. Chief Derrow is the USAFE command chief.
U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Desiree Esposito 
ceremony. This may very well be the highlight of your career, and a night you will never forget."
Chief Gaylor spoke to the "mess," describing the four differences between Airmen of his era and Airmen of today -- training, technology, tribe (family) and trust -- relating them back to General Brady.

"This man we honor tonight has been instrumental in promoting and advancing all four of those," the chief said.

He went on to thank the general and counted him as a "man among men, and leader among leaders" who has been "helping make us a much better Air Force."

As a bagpipe echoed through the room, the USAFE ceremonial sword was bestowed upon General Brady with a reading of the proclamation and citation.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Grimm, the duty sergeant for the evening, read the proclamation and relayed the type of leadership General Brady embodies.

"Whereas you by your dynamic leadership, your sincere personal concern for the well-being of all enlisted men and women and your continuous adherence to the highest standards of personal integrity, you have rekindled the spirit and resolve of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe enlisted force and have guided them upward to new and greater magnitudes of duty, honor, country," he said. "And whereas under your outstanding leadership, U.S. Air Forces in Europe have reached new heights of performance, combat readiness and devotion to cause."

When the USAFE commander took the stage, he thanked those in attendance for being there to commemorate the event and described several key points of enlisted heritage that have impacted and shaped today's enlisted force, stating a big contrast between the eras.

"Your contribution has been substantially different than that of enlisted Airmen in previous conflicts," he said. "For the first time, large numbers of Airmen have found themselves engaged directly with enemy forces on the ground. And you have invariably performed with courage, honor and dignity. You are preserving freedom today and ensuring it for tomorrow."

The command pilot with more than 3,100 flying hours praised Airmen throughout USAFE, from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to RAF Mildenhall, England, as they have continued to support humanitarian efforts and overseas contingency operations.

General Brady presented the USAFE enlisted corps with a reproduction of a drawing he created after seeing a newspaper picture of an Iraqi woman leaving a polling booth after Iraq elections in 2005.

The Order of the Sword ceremony was started by noncommissioned officers in the Middle Ages to honor their leader by pledging loyalty to him through the presentation of a sword. The sword stood as a symbol of "truth, justice and power rightfully used."

After lying dormant for some time, the ceremony was revived by the Air Force enlisted corps in 1967.

By USAF Sr. Airman Amanda M. Dick
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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