***image1***“This is what I call a promotion ceremony,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Mardis, 86th Maintenance Squadron commander, as 200 maintainers blew the roof off shouting, “Big Dawgs” when two of their own were promoted in a dual ceremony March 31 in the breakroom.
Master Sgt. Marcus Brown, 86th Maintenance Operations Squadron, and his wife, Master Sgt. Susan Heffelfinger, 86th MXS, repeated the oath of enlistment as Colonel Mardis and Maj. Mary Toohey, 86th MOS commander, simultaneously administered the oath.
Together they make up 33 percent of the promotion class, said Sergeant Brown.
“They only promote six in the (precision measurement equipment laboratory) career field out of 79 possible. It’s my eighth attempt and her seventh,” he said.
“We’ve been in the Air Force 22 years each, and this is not something you see every year,” said Sergeant Heffelfinger. “It’s rare for anyone in PMEL to make senior.”
Colonel Mardis introduced Sergeant Heffelfinger to the crowd and Major Toohey followed with Sergeant Brown.
“She was such a great PMEL instructor that they made her a super,” Colonel Mardis said.
I can think of no true more words to describe Sergeant Brown than a quiet professional, a strong leader,” said Major Toohey.
***image2***“Their children, Jamie, 18, and Dakota, 9, set them up for punches by leading the crowd with the ol’ one two. Colonel Mardis even
lended his ring to Dakota for some extra “umph.”
“We’ll stay in for at least two more years,” Sergeant Heffelfinger said. “We haven’t been to Korea yet.”
The two met at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo., in 1993 and have had all their assignments together since. They were both instructors and instructor superintendents.
“I don’t think this will be the last promotion for either of these two,” Major Toohey said.