Maj. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, Twenty-Fifth Air Force commander, spoke to attendees about the significance of this annual event.
“Each year, both past and present members of our community come together to celebrate our heritage, and one of our most sacred ceremonies happens here, in front of our iconic EC-47, where we pay tribute to our silent warriors – men and women who served with distinction and paid the ultimate price,” Haugh said.
This year’s ceremony was the first to include fallen members of the cyber community. This as the Numbered Air Forces prepare to become a consolidated Information Warfare NAF, which will integrate cyber and ISR capabilities under a single organization and commander.
“Over the past 71 years, USAFSS, ESC, AFIC, AIA, AFISRA, Twenty-Fifth Air Force, and soon to be Information Warfare NAF, Airmen have answered the call,” Haugh said. “This year is notable because we pay homage the service of our cyber brethren alongside our own.”
One such Airman was Staff Sgt. Cierra Rogers, a former member of the 67th and 688th Cyber Space Wings at JBSA-Lackland.
“Staff Sgt. Rogers was stationed here on Security Hill for five years following her enlistment in 2010,” said Ted Colquhoun, Twenty-Fifth Air Force member and Freedom Through Vigilance Association president. “An administrative assistant beloved by many in our community, she was a kind person with a desire to serve.”
On April 29, 2016, while Rogers was visiting a Nigerian family living in Korea, she realized she and the Enyioko family were trapped inside the family’s apartment.
“Staff Sgt. Rogers smelled smoke, and after searching several venues of escape, she proceeded to kick out a window and lead the family out to an exterior patio.”
Rogers attempted to climb down the 37-foot building to find help, at which time she fell and was injured.
“Despite these injuries, she was able to gather volunteers and blankets,” Colquhoun said.
Rogers ensured the family was safe before seeking medical attention herself. Rogers was relocated to a new duty station within a month, where she passed away as a result of her injuries.
“Her efforts in saving that family places her in rare and elite company, among those who have died so that others may live,” Colquhoun said.
The fallen Airmen whose names were read aloud during the NAF’s Remembrance Ceremony are cherished not only today, but throughout the year; and not only for their sacrifice, but for their dedicated service to the nation.
“For those of us who knew and served alongside them, we know their lives and service were so much more than a single act of heroism. We come to this place to honor their service and sacrifice alike,” Haugh said.
Editor’s note: Units quoted by the commander (in order) were: United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS), Electronic Security Command (ESC), Air Force Intelligence Command (AFIC), Air Intelligence Agency (AIA), and Air Force ISR Agency (AFISRA).