Legacy - Signing the commander's desk

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

Tradition and customs are engrained in military service. Some our visible and easily recognized such as the military uniform, saluting the flag, and passing of the guidon at a change of command.  Others are more subtle, and not always witnessed by many.

Colonel Jeff Smith, 173rd Fighter Wing commander, continues a tradition that is not as familiar as he signs the bottom of the base commander's desk in his office.

The desk has sat in the base commander’s office since the early 1980s when Kingsley Field was a schoolhouse was training F-4 Phantom pilots.  It holds the signature of every single Kingsley Field base commander, starting with Lt. Col. Bert Bryant, the 114th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron commander and first base commander at Kingsley Field.

“The list of commanders is a visible reminder that Kingsley has a rich history and a bright future,” says Smith. “We all have our time and our role here, and we do the best we can in the time we have.  Then someone else takes the lead and continues to move us forward.” 

Smith took command of the wing in April 2016.  He will pass the guidon to Col. Jeff Edwards on June 1.

“I have truly been blessed to work with this amazing team,” says Smith.