***image1***RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – The U.S. Air Forces in Europe enlisted corps will bestow their highest honor on the USAFE commander Aug. 26 when they induct him into the command’s Order of the Sword.
Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong accepted the invitation in the presence of USAFE’s command chief master sergeants and first sergeants from the First Sergeants Academy during a formal presentation June 22 at the 11th Worldwide Command Chiefs Conference held at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
“This is such serious business,” said General Foglesong, overwhelmed by the invitation. “I’m very honored and touched.”
Chief Master Sgt. Gary G. Coleman, USAFE command chief master sergeant, who formally presented General Foglesong with the invitation on behalf of the enlisted corps, said the decision to honor the general was unanimous across the command.
“It’s our way – the best way – of honoring General Foglesong for his total dedication, and passionate concern for USAFE enlisted men and women and their families,” said Chief Coleman.
“Since taking the USAFE flag, General Foglesong has worked tirelessly supporting the enlisted force under his command,” the chief said. “We can take any one of the 15 Combat and Special Interest Programs he’s instituted within this command and see that they embody the development of the enlisted force. Strengthening the work and personal environments of members throughout USAFE, the general has not only made USAFE the best place to live and work, but he’s created an environment for our Airmen to grow – spiritually, mentally and physically.”
A 33-year Air Force veteran who has commanded USAFE since August 2003, General Foglesong will become only the 16th recipient honored with the USAFE Order of the Sword when the enlisted corps formally induct him in August.
“This is not an award we present lightly; every Airman in this command can take pride in this induction,” Chief Coleman said. “We are honoring a great leader whose vision and focus has ensured we are ready to fight and postured to respond anywhere in the world, while providing superior services to you – the world-class men and women of USAFE.”
It’s also not an award the general is taking lightly.
“My dad was an NCO in the U.S. Navy and I fully realize what this induction means,” said the general, who plans to send the induction announcement to his mother. “I couldn’t be more humbled, and I know my mother will be proud.”
The Order of the Sword is the highest honor the Air Force enlisted corps can bestow on an officer. The tradition dates back to medieval times, when noncommissioned officers presented their leaders with a sword as a symbolic gesture of loyalty. It is 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.
For more information about the August ceremony, contact your wing command chief or first sergeant.