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Hancock Fields' "Hail To The Cheif's" ceremony

U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin W. Bradley (second from right) expresses his gratitude to all the retiring chief master sergeants at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse NY, on 4 June 2011.  The Wing held a “Hail to the Chiefs” dinner and ceremony for all chiefs who have or will retire in 2010-11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Takeya Williams)

U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin W. Bradley (second from right) expresses his gratitude to all the retiring chief master sergeants at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse NY, on 4 June 2011. The Wing held a “Hail to the Chiefs” dinner and ceremony for all chiefs who have or will retire in 2010-11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Takeya Williams)

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York -- On June 4, 2011, Hancock Field honored its recently and soon-to-be retired chief master sergeants at a "Hail To The Chiefs" dinner and ceremony held here in the main hanger.

Hancock Field held its first "Hail To The Chiefs" ceremony to honor all the chief master sergeants who retired in 2010 and 2011. The following 13 chiefs were honored at a formal dinner and dance here on base:

Chief Master Sgt. Sandra Ryczak
Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Potter
Chief Master Sgt. Darryl Nielson
Chief Master Sgt. Jennie Miller
Chief Master Sgt. Kathleen Hepp
Chief Master Sgt. Wayne Bovee
Chief Master Sgt. Joel Graham
Chief Master Sgt. Phillip Greenwood
Chief Master Sgt. Donald Hudson
Chief Master Sgt. David Heckman
Chief Master Sgt. Paul Samora
Chief Master Sgt. Judy Van Wie
Chief Master Sgt. Brian Herman

The chiefs have more then 300 years of combined military experience with the earliest year of enlistment being 1963. The dinner dance was well supported by Hancock Field with more then 250 people in attendance. Each retiring chief received a certificate acknowledging the fact that a commemorative brick paver honoring their service has been placed in the Enlisted Heritage Plaza at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The chiefs also received street signs with their names as mementos.

The ceremony was coordinated by the Hancock Field Enlisted Council, with major help from members of the 174th FW Maintenance Group, Hancock Field Chiefs' Council and the Hancock Field First Sergeants. The Enlisted Council worked a combined 70 hours on the planning and raising the curtains on what could be a yearly event. "Col. Bradley said he was pleased with the outcome and would like to see the tradition continued in the future," said Staff Sgt. Takeya Williams who worked on the event. When asked how she felt about the "Hail To The Chiefs" ceremony, Staff Sgt. Williams said "it's wonderful to see the chiefs enjoying themselves, but it's not just about the chiefs; it's also about the other members here on the base. We rarely have a chance to see each other in a large social setting so this was just a great way of getting everyone together to have a good time."