COMUSAFE honored with Order of the Sword

Master Sgt. Mona Ferrell
USAFE News Service

***image1***Before a packed house at the Ramstein Officers’ Club, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander was bestowed the enlisted corps highest honor Aug. 26.

Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, who’s led USAFE since August 2003, was inducted into the command’s Order of the Sword before nearly 600 enlisted members and guests representing every base within the command.

General Foglesong credited his father for the characteristics that got him where he is today.
“My dad was an NCO in the United States Navy and he spent four years in the South Pacific,” the general said as he held his dad’s dog tags up high. “I learned about work ethic, dedication, and I learned about commitment and taking care of your people from Red Foglesong. He brought those NCO characteristics back home with him … so, I know what NCOs do.”

These same characteristics are found in today’s Airmen, said the general.
“I know that the NCOs in our Air Force are the steel in our back,” said General Foglesong. “They are the service-before-self patriots who give their all without blinking an eye – all for the sake of serving this great nation of ours.

“We have the greatest NCO corps in the world,” the general continued. “We are the most respected and feared Air Force in the world and I unequivocally blame the people in this room for that.”
Touted as an ‘Airman among Airmen and a leader among leaders,’ on the Order of the Sword proclamation, the general’s induction is the highest award the Air Force enlisted corps can bestow upon a person.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” said Chief Master Sgt. Gary G. Coleman, USAFE command chief master sergeant and sergeant major for the ceremony.

“His support and guidance for the enlisted force are unparalleled,” Chief Coleman said. “We are honoring a great leader. The general’s sincere personal concern for the men and women in this command, combined with his outstanding leadership has catapulted USAFE to new heights of performance and combat readiness – all while providing superior services that have allowed our Airmen to grow spiritually, mentally and physically.”

Most of these services have come by way of the 15 Combat and Special Interest Programs General Foglesong has instituted since taking the USAFE Flag.

“Whether looking at Combat Education, the high-energy events of Project CHEER, or the countless quality of life initiatives we’ve enjoyed over the past two years, the total dedication and passionate concern our commander has for our enlisted Airmen and their families is readily apparent,” said Chief Coleman.

Humbly considering himself unworthy of the honor, General Foglesong said his induction into the Order of the Sword is the highlight of his career.

“This (is) the high-water mark in my 33 years of service,” the general said. “Nothing will top all of you being here tonight.”

General Foglesong is the sixteenth inductee into the USAFE Order of the Sword. The award is a tribute presented by the enlisted corps and patterned after two orders of chivalry founded in Europe during the Middle Ages – The Royal Order of the Sword and the Swedish Military Order of the Sword. Both orders still exist today.