Air Force Honor Guard participates in historic ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff
  • Air Force Honor Guard Public Affairs
In an unprecedented ceremony April 25, the Air Force Honor Guard helped say goodbye to an enlisted leader who paved the way for all enlisted Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen by becoming the first senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The ceremony, which included only enlisted personnel from each service's honor guard, was the first of its kind and was held specially for Army Sgt. Maj. William Gainey for his retirement at Conmy Hall, Fort Myer, Va.
In a typical retirement, a staff officer, usually a captain or higher, leads the troops, but in this case a master sergeant represented the Air Force, while a technical sergeant acted as platoon leader -- normally a lieutenant's position - and a senior airman filled the platoon sergeant position, usually taken by a senior NCO.
"It meant a lot to me to be a part of this ceremony and know we were making history for this man who cared so much about all enlisted, no matter what service they were a part of," said Master Sgt. Robert Greenberg, Air Force Honor Guard Training Flight chief and staff officer for the ceremony. "It was a great ceremony, everyone was so proud to be a part of it."
The ceremony was hosted by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who highlighted Sergeant Major Gainey's 33 years of service in the Army, during which he cared for not only his soldiers, but enlisted people from all military branches..
"This was a historic occasion for a man who helped make history," said Sergeant Greenberg.