LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The Lackland Chiefs' Group tacked chief master sergeant stripes on the previous 37th Training Wing commander, signifying his selection by the group as an honorary chief master sergeant, during a luncheon ceremony Aug. 24 at the Gateway Club.
The group honored Col. William H. Mott V, 37th TRW commander from July 2009 to June 2011, for his contributions to the Lackland enlisted corps.
"I've been at Lackland since 2007 and the only person I've seen this title bestowed on by the chiefs' group in that time was General Jones in 2007," said Chief Master Sgt. Jay Simon, in reference to Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, 37th TRW commander from June 2006 to January 2008.
Mott, whose official retirement date is in October, said he was honored to be recognized by the chiefs' group.
"I've always believed in the power of the chief. I have the utmost respect for every chief I've met," said Mott. "This is special because I've seldom seen it done. To be associated with these chiefs means a lot.
"Since I just left, it means a validation that I was a good friend (to the enlisted corps). It really is a good closure to my career," he added.
Simon, the 37th TRW command chief master sergeant under Mott, said the actions taken by his former boss demonstrated his support for the Lackland enlisted corps.
"He allowed me to be the command chief and to be involved when decisions were being made," Simon said.
"He sought my counsel and advice before he made decisions. It was all about a leadership team. He earned the honor of being an honorary chief."
Simon cited Mott's advocacy for Lackland's enlisted Airmen and his enthusiasm for Air Force Basic Military Training.
"He pushed for improvements that would benefit the enlisted force," said Simon.
"He cared about the facilities the Airmen worked and trained in, and their equipment.
"If anything was substandard, he called or e-mailed group commanders to say, 'We need to fix this.' He was adamant about it," he said. "And every day, he was out there running and exercising with BMT. He was a huge BMT supporter."
Mott got roaring approval from the chiefs' group when he stated his intentions for the honorary chief master sergeant plaque, a large wooden replica of the chief's insignia.
"I'm going to put those stripes on my office wall as soon as I get back," he said, referring to his new job in the civilian sector.
Bringing the house down one more time before his exit, Mott again commented to his former top enlisted advisor, "Hey, does this mean I get to call you Jay?"