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NJANG welcomes new state command chief
Story by Airman 1st Class Kellyann Novak, 108th Wing Public Affairs

"I would like to see...a more resilient core by eliminating the stigma of asking for help."

On a sunny day in June, Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., saw the end to one Airman's career and the beginning of another.

Command Chief Master Sgt. Vincent Morton, until recently the 108th Wing command chief master sergeant, assumed responsibility as the state command chief from outgoing Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Francis during a Change of Authority ceremony at JFHQ June 9, 2012.

It was a sad farewell to Francis - who has served in this position from 2009 until 2012 - as he relinquished his authority by handing the guidon over to Maj. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, commander, New Jersey Air National Guard. But Francis leaves his post with a small piece of wisdom from the Greek historian, Thucydides, stating that "the nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors, will have its thinking done by fools."

Accordingly, Francis encourages each and every enlisted member to, "do your PME and get your CCAF!"

In addition, special "thanks" was given to Francis for his many years of service in the armed forces as well as to his family for their continued support and sacrifices over the years.

Following tradition, Falca-Dodson presented Morton with the guidon, conferring him as the New Jersey State Command Chief in front of his peers and family members.

Maj. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, left, commander, New Jersey Air National Guard, passes the colors to incoming State Command Chief Master Sgt. Vincent P. Morton during the Change of Authority ceremony held in front of Joint Force Headquarters, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., June 9, 2012. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

As the new state command chief, Morton will be the senior enlisted representative for the enlisted members of New Jersey Air National Guard. He will be responsible for giving advice to the adjutant general and the commander of the NJANG on several issues, to include: mission effectiveness, professional development, military readiness, training, utilization, health, morale, and welfare of the command's enlisted Airmen.

Morton also has personal objectives while serving in his new capacity.

"One of my main goals will be to take care of Airmen and build a more resilient enlisted core for the adjutant general, governor, and president," said Morton.

Furthermore, as the future of the NJANG is unpredictable, Morton has a vision for the Airmen of the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing.

"I would like to see an increase in education, a more technology oriented guard, and a more resilient core by eliminating the stigma of asking for help and instead use the resources made available through family and airman programs," said Morton.

As he assumes authority over his new post, it may seem as though Morton is saying goodbye to the 108th Wing, but that is not how he feels.

"I'm not leaving the 108th, I'm now in a better position to serve our Airmen," said Morton.

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Volume 35 Number 4 Staff / Information
(c) 2013 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs