Six civic leaders inducted as new 932nd Airlift Wing Honorary Commanders

  • Published
  • By Maj. Neil Samson
  • 932nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

On November 5, 2023, the 932nd Airlift Wing graduated its Honorary Wing Commander and inducted six new community leaders from across the St. Louis metropolitan region into the Gateway Wing’s 2025 class of Honorary Commanders.

City of Belleville Mayor Patty Gregory, 932nd AW Honorary Commander, was honored for her two-year distinguished term as a passionate advocate of the Wing, heightening the awareness of 932nd Citizen Airmen in the Metro East community.

Gregory was also selected as one of three graduates to be an alumni emeritus. This distinction honors former honorary commanders and allows them to continue serving the 932nd AW as a mentor to the current class of honorary commanders.

Reflecting on her tenure, Gregory also conveyed her optimism in the new class of honorary commanders, who were about to embark on their two-year journey.

Over the course of the next two years, each of the six honorary commanders will be educated on the Wing to include Operations, Maintenance, Mission Support, and the Medical Group. They will serve as a liaison between service members and the public to increase communication and collaboration between the military and the local community, giving Citizen Airmen and surrounding townships a greater appreciation of one another.

These opportunities enable an up-close and personal experience with our mission, policies, programs, and how it all fits into the overall mission capability of the Air Force Reserve and the United States Air Force.

“Honorary commanders are part of the 932nd family,” said Col. Jeffrey Smith, 932nd Airlift Wing Commander. He continued, “We live, we work, we go to school, are seen by medical professionals, we go to church…all in the same community. It provides us with different perspectives by leveraging collaboration between our military and civilian communities to help strengthen our Citizen Airman team. We look forward to all the new ideas and connections that will occur during this two-year journey.”

The new honorary commander class members embodied business, government, and education specialties and represented the cities of O’Fallon, Collinsville, Belleville, and St. Louis.

Congratulations New Honorary Commanders, Class of 2025:

  • Mayor Herb Roach, City of O’Fallon, 932nd Airlift Wing Honorary Commander
  • Linette Warnecke, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending, Central Bank, 932nd Operations Group Honorary Commander
  • Lenny Singh, President/Chairman of Ameren Illinois, 932nd Mission Support Group Honorary Commander
  • Steve Mackin, Mercy President and CEO, 932nd Medical Group Honorary Commander
  • Kellen Kettwich, Principal, Scott Elementary School, 932nd Maintenance Group Honorary Commander
  • Joe Lamie, Managing Editor, KTVI/KPLR TV News, 932nd Airlift Wing Aerospace Medicine Squadron Honorary Commander

Congratulations Graduating Honorary Commander Class of 2023:

  • Mayor Patty Gregory, City of Belleville
  • Jessica Schroer, The Hummingbird Group
  • Michael Macari, Entegral
  • Craig Fiegel, Superintendent (Retired), Mascoutah School District
  • Jake Ulkus, The Profit Ignition
  • Mayor Cheri Wright, City of Lebanon
  • Scott Harding, SCI Engineering Inc.
  • Jason Dandurand, Roxana Community Unit School Dist. 1
  • Jeff Taylor, City of O'Fallon, IL
  • Susan O’Malley, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP
  • Mayor Bob Weilmuenster, City of Shiloh
  • Norm Etling, St. Clair Co. Dept. of Roads and Bridges
  • Dr. Katie Henderson, MD, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  • Scott Givens, Southeast Missouri Hospital
  • Kevin Journagan, Mercy Hospital South

Congratulations Alumni Emeritus:

  • Mayor Patty Gregory, City of Belleville
  • Michael Macari, Entegral
  • Mayor Cheri Wright, City of Lebanon