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NEWS | March 16, 2012

'Fired Up Chief' retires after 28-year Air Force career

By Mike Joseph JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

The 502nd Air Base Wing's "Fired Up Chief" culminates 28 years of service to the U.S. Air Force today at the same place where it began - the basic military training parade grounds at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Chief Master Sgt. Juan Lewis, known as the "The Fired Up Chief," by his signature moniker on all his email traffic, ends his military career by leading the Air Force's newest Airmen over the bomb run, and one final time in front of the BMT grandstand.

A fervent leader, the 502nd ABW command chief is also identified across JBSA for his PEP - Pride, Enthusiasm and Passion. It's a message he has spread throughout his four-year tenure in San Antonio, first as command chief of the 37th Training Wing, and then at the 502nd ABW.
"The one thing I'm really going to miss the most is helping the Airmen," said Lewis. "I'll miss the interaction with them and helping them achieve their goals."

As the 502nd ABW's top enlisted leader, Lewis was the primary adviser to Brig. Gen. Theresa C. Carter, 502nd ABW commander, on all matters affecting the quality, welfare, morale and management of JBSA enlisted personnel.

It's a role Lewis relished.

"We've got to communicate with our Airmen in the lower ranks, and let them communicate with us," Lewis said.

"A great responsibility has been placed on our shoulders. Parents want to know someone is going to take care of their children when they join the Air Force," he added.

A Houston native, Lewis began his Air Force career in 1984. He served in numerous enlisted positions, including NCO in charge of the honor guard and mortuary affairs at March Air Force Base, Calif. Later, he occupied top positions with the 48th Services Squadron, 48th Mission Support Group and 48th Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.

Then he landed his ideal job as the 37th TRW command chief master sergeant in 2008.

"This was my dream job and I've lived the dream," Lewis said when he left Lackland in 2009 for his JBSA position at nearby Fort Sam Houston.

Retiring at Lackland is something Lewis said he'll always cherish.

"I could have done one more tour, but what a place to retire - Lackland Air Force Base, where it all starts," the chief said. "To walk down the historic bomb run in 1984 and then to retire walking down the bomb run in 2012, it doesn't get any better than this.

"I look back at my time in the Air Force and think about all the people who helped me. I really appreciate each and every one of them."