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Press Release
January 11, 2009
Oregon Air National Guard command chief retires, new command chief assumes post
 
The Oregon Air National Guard said goodbye to its former command chief master sergeant, and welcomed his replacement during separate ceremonies held at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 11, 2009.

State Command Chief Master Sgt. Mark D. Russell assumed command of the state's highest enlisted position from outgoing State Command Chief Master Sgt. Rodney R. Smith in a morning ceremony attended by family, friends and coworkers.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard, lauded Chief Master Sgt. Smith's accomplishments, calling attention to a long, distinguished military career dating back to 1971, and including a tour as an Army Soldier in Vietnam.

Chief Smith, a resident of Battle Ground, Wash., was the Oregon Air National Guard's 14th senior enlisted advisor, the highest enlisted position within the Oregon Air Guard, and the third person to hold the title of State Command Chief.

Chief Smith served in several supervisory positions throughout the Oregon Air Guard since 1980, when he became a full-time technician working with the munitions branch of the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland, Ore.

During his retirement ceremony held later that day, Chief Smith thanked the many mentors, coworkers, and supervisors he came into contact throughout his long military career. He also called attention to the new, closer working relationship between Oregon's citizen-Airmen and citizen-Soldiers, a plan he developed with former State Command Sergeant Major, Thomas Moe.

Chief Master Sgt. Russell thanked Chief Smith for his guidance, and for laying the foundation for a closer collaboration between Oregon's two military services. He also thanked Maj. Gen. Rees and Oregon Air Guard commanders for the opportunity to serve in his new role.

Chief Russell's military career began in 1980 when he joined the United States Marine Corps. As a former Chief Master Sergeant with the 101st Combat Operations Group, has served in various supervisory and superintendant roles throughout the Oregon Air Guard since joining the Oregon Air National Guard in 1997.

As the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Russell will support over 2,100 citizen-Airmen as the highest enlisted person in Oregon.


Photos: 

090111-F-1639C-220.jpg : Maj. Gen. Daniel B. O'Hollaren, former commander of the Oregon Air National Guard (left), congratulates Oregon Air National Guard State Command Chief Master Sgt. Rodney R. Smith at the Change of Authority ceremony held at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 11, 2009. Smith will be replaced by incoming State Command Chief Master Sgt. Mark D. Russell. Russell will be the 15th senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).

090111-F-1639C-227.jpg : Oregon Air National Guard State Command Chief Master Sgt. Mark D. Russell, (right), receives the command flag from Brig. Gen. Bruce W. Prunk, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard (left), during the Change of Authority ceremony held at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 11, 2009. State Command Chief Master Sgt. Russell assumes command from Command Chief Master Sgt. Rodney R. Smith, who retired Jan. 11. Russell will be the 15th senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).

090111-F-1639C-019.jpg : Brig. Gen. Bruce W. Prunk, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard (left), congratulates Oregon Air National Guard State Command Chief Master Sgt. Rodney R. Smith at his retirement ceremony held at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 11, 2009. Smith will be replaced by incoming State Command Chief Master Sgt. Mark D. Russell. Russell will be the 15th senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
 
 
Contact Info:
 
Maj. Michael S. Braibish, State Public Affairs Officer:
503-584-3886 (W) or 503-932-5805 (C)