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Holm Center changes command

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Michael Voss
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Brig. Gen. Paul H. Guemmer assumed command of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development from Brig. Gen. Robert D. Thomas Nov. 7 during a change of command ceremony here.

As part of the change of command, Thomas served as the reviewing official for Commissioned Officer Training class 15-01 graduating 103 officer trainees  and marking the end of a 30-year Air Force career.

Presiding over the ceremony, Air University Commander and President Lt. Gen. David S. Fadok praised Thomas' leadership while guiding the academic facility that educates 1,900 officer trainees, 120,000 Air Force JROTC and 16,000 Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets.

"General Thomas' span of control impacts more than 80  percent of Air Force officers," Fadok said. "We are the greatest Air Force the world has ever seen and much of that is because of the education provided here. At Air University, we produce the future, and the future of our Air Force passes through this campus."

While commanding the Holm Center, Thomas is credited with integrating active duty, Guard and Reserve officer training courses, revamping ROTC summer field training and leading the center to an excellent rating during the 2013 Air Education and Training Command compliance inspection. 

Prior to publishing Thomas' retirement order and Guemmer assuming command, Fadok awarded Thomas the Distinguished Service Medal.

Thomas then administered the Oath of Office  to the officer trainees of class 15-01 as well as thanked his staff and family for their support during the assignment.

"To the men and women who make up the Holm Center, you are absolutely spectacular," said Thomas. "You have more impact on the U.S. Air Force and the combat power of the Air Force than any other unit in existence. You train 85 percent of the officer corps; the future leaders, the squadron commanders, the wing commanders and general officers. Without you preforming your mission there is no one to go to Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College or the Air War College. There is no one to lead the Air Staff and ultimately assume the role of chief of staff. It has been an honor to be your commander."

After taking control of the Holm Center unit guidon, Guemmer, whose 26-year career has included command positions on the Joint Staff in Operations Directorate, the Headquarters Air Force Directorate of Strategic Planning and more recently the Policy and Logistics Directorate at U.S. Transportation Command, expressed gratitude when accepting command of the center.

"Having been out of the Air Force for the last two years with USTRANSCOM, I can't think of a better place to come back to the Air Force," Guemmer said. "I don't know what challenges will face you as an Air Force officer in your career, but I do know the education you receive here at the Holm Center will help prepare you meet those challenges. The Holm Center is at the point of setting the Air Force up for the future. These are big shoes to fill, but I thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to the commanding the Holm Center."