St. Louis Metro East community leaders inducted as new honorary commanders

  • Published
  • By Christopher Parr
  • 932nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Citizen Airmen of the 932nd Airlift Wing continued the tradition of forging longstanding relationships with the St. Louis Metro East community, inducting local community leaders into the inaugural 932nd Airlift Wing Honorary Commanders Program October 3, 2021.

Fifteen community leaders and representatives from businesses were welcomed into the program as honorary commanders at a ceremony held during the 932nd Airlift Wing's Unit Training Assembly. The Honorary Commander’s Induction ceremony was blended with the UTA Commander’s Call.  Both the ceremony and commander’s call was attended in-person and streamed online to maintain COVID safety restrictions. 

At the ceremony, each honorary commander was presented with a certificate of appointment to the program and recited the Honorary Commander’s oath.

“Being a part of the Honorary Commanders program is a tremendous honor and privilege that has been bestowed upon those of us who were inducted on October 3,”said Jason Dandurand, Roxana Senior High School principal.

The program partners each honorary commander with a 932nd AW commander, providing these local community members with a taste of the Air Force experience.

"Being an honorary commander is a rewarding role, and is an integral part of the Reserve Citizen Airman experience," said Col. Glenn Collins, 932nd Airlift Wing commander. “Honorary commanders serve as ambassadors for the 932d Airlift Wing and the greater military community.”

The Honorary Commander program serves as a platform to connect the region’s civic leaders with profession of arms. Honorary Commanders are selected from leaders in business, education, non-profit, municipal and professional organizations.

By connecting these civic leaders with 932nd AW commanders and units, and inviting them to see weekend training, honorary commanders become an integral part of the Citizen Airman experience and gain an understanding of the role our units have in fulfilling the greater Air Force Reserve mission.

“Our hope is that honorary commanders will gain an understanding of the role the 932d Airlift Wing has in fulfilling the Air Force mission and serving our nation’s needs,” said Collins.

In turn, the 932nd AW commander gains an opportunity to learn more about the people and the inner workings of their local community.

During their tenure, honorary commanders will participate in unit change-of-commands, promotions, retirements, or other unit activities and tours of various mission areas on base, as well as an opportunity to see other AF Reserve bases, as the health protection conditions allow. Honorary commanders are also free to invite wing sponsors to their respective events and meetings associated with their businesses.

At the ceremony, the honorary commanders expressed their gratitude and eagerness to take part in the program.

“As a healthcare provider, I understand and appreciate the motivation of our military members to be of service to others. By participating in the program, I hope to increase my knowledge about the Air Force, specifically the 932nd Airlift Wing, and to learn how I and BJC HealthCare can better serve and partner with our local Air Force members,” said Dr. Katie Henderson, Barnes-Jewish Hospital vice president and chief medical officer.

“As a civic leader, I'm excited to connect with other people in the region to foster a positive and collaborative partnership with the service men and women of the United States Air Force and the 932nd Airlift Wing,” said Dandurand

Honorary Commander Program 2021 Inductees:

932nd Airlift Wing Honorary Commander, The Honorable Patty Gregory, Mayor of the City of Belleville, Illinois

932nd Mission Support Group Honorary Commander, Ms. Jessica Schroer, Marketing Director, The Hummingbird Group, St. Louis, Missouri

932nd Maintenance Group Honorary Commander, Mr. Craig Fiegel, Superintendent, Mascoutah Public School, Mascoutah, Illinois

932nd Medical Group Honorary Commander, Mr. Michael Macari, Director of Business Development, Enterprise Holdings, Saint Louis, Missouri

932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Honorary Commander, Mr. Jacob Ulkus, Founder and Chief Consultant, The Profit Ignition, Webster Groves, Missouri

73rd Airlift Squadron Honorary Commander, Mr. Jason Dandurand, Principal, Roxana Senior High School, Roxanna, Illinois

932nd Operational Support Flight Honorary Commander, Mr. Mark Korte, Partner CPA Scheffel Boyle CPAS, Highland, Illinois

932nd Maintenance Squadron Honorary Commander, The Honorable Cheri Wright, Mayor of the City of Lebanon, Illinois

932nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Honorary Commander, Mr. Scott Harding, President of SCI Engineering, O’Fallon, Illinois

932nd Civil Engineer Squadron Honorary Commander, Mr. Jeff Taylor, Director of Public Works, City of O’Fallon, Illinois

932nd Force Support Squadron Honorary Commander, Ms. Susan O’Malley, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, Belleville

932nd Security Forces Squadron Honorary Commander, Mr. Norman Etling, County Engineer, St. Clair County Department of Roads and Bridges, Belleville, Illinois

932nd Logistics Readiness Flight Honorary Commander, Mr. Bob Weilmuenster, Mayor of the City of Shiloh, Illinois

932nd Medical Squadron Honorary Commander, Dr. Katie Henderson, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri

932nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron Honorary Commander, Dr. Kevin Journagan, Physician Mercy South Emergency Section, St. Louis, Missouri