General Welsh is Sworn in as New Air Force Chief of Staff

General Mark Welsh, the Air Force’s 20th Chief of Staff, introduced himself to the nation's airmen and women on Friday in his first official letterafter being sworn in by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.

NGAUS applauded the Senate for confirming Gen. Walsh to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff on August 2nd. We look forward to working with Gen. Welsh to ensure the Air Force and the Air National Guard provide the best service and defense to this nation.

After being confirmed, Gen. Welsh had this to say of his new role, “"I fully accept the responsibility to stand beside Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and lead the 690,000 active, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen who selflessly serve our nation as part of an unbeatable joint team."

Gen. Welsh, former U.S. Air Forces Commander in Europe, officially took over from Gen. Norton A. Schwartz on Friday during the Air Force transition ceremony at Joint Andrews Base in Maryland. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey were both present.

Gen. Schwartz formally ended his four decade long career in a retirement ceremony yesterday, greeted by more than 200 Airmen and civilians who lined the hallways of the Pentagon as a tribute to his years of service to our country. Secretary Donley thanked Gen. Schwartz for his “lasting contribution to our Air Force and the character and quality of your service.” 

Secretary of Defense Panetta presented Gen. Schwartz with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, which is awarded to service members who perform exceptionally meritorious service in a position of great responsibility. 

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