CMSAF becomes honorary master chief

16 Apr 2004 | Senior Airman Alice Moore

At the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy graduation here April 14, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray became an honorary master chief petty officer.

Chief Murray spoke at the ceremony to salute four Airmen who were graduates.

“What a great honor to be recognized by this sister service,” Chief Murray said. “It gives us great encouragement to see how an organization such as our Coast Guard has stood the test of time and evolved to meet the demands of the world today. It was a big honor to come here and be part of their service.”

During his remarks, the chief emphasized the importance of capitalizing on each other’s strengths in today’s dynamic security environment.

“Joint education allows us to learn more about each other’s culture, heritage, organization and language in an academic environment,” the chief said. “We then can take what we learned and apply it in joint operations, in the field or operational environment. It allows us to work together in these environments with a little more knowledge of each other.”

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Frank Welch was also at the graduation festivities.

“Not any single service has all the responsibilities to protect American interests to the degree we jointly can,” Master Chief Welch said. “The Air Force offers a fresh viewpoint on organizational issues.”

In his speech during the ceremony, Chief Murray commended Coast Guardsmen for their work.

“The Coast Guard as a service is out there on the front line every day standing watch over America, her people and her interests -- at home and abroad, during war and during peace,” Chief Murray said. “Coast Guard is synonymous with professionalism, duty and courage in the minds of Americans. I commend each of you for the manner in which you carry out your crucial mission.”

The academy reserves 30 slots a year for Air Force senior noncommissioned officers. About 10 Coast Guard chief petty officers attended the Air Force Senior NCO academy at Gunter Annex, Ala.

For the Airmen attending the Coast Guard academy, the experience was memorable, said Master Sgt. Kevin Curl, first sergeant for the 366th Component Maintenance Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

“The opportunity to work with the Coast Guard here has been the best thing I’ve ever done. When I was asked to attend, I didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Sergeant Curl said.

He was the class vice president and received the “Spirit of the Chief” award.

“It was a total broadening experience; not only did I get to see how one of the sister services operates, this gave me the opportunity to establish new friendships,” he said.