Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base --
Col. Bill Boothman took command of the 157th Air Operations Group in a change of command ceremony here Sunday.
Col. Ken Eaves, the 131st Bomb Wing commander, officiated the ceremony in which Col. Chip Atterbury relinquished command prior to his retirement after 31 years of service. Eaves praised Atterbury for a job well done.
“There are two statements I always say to those going into a leadership position — one of those is ‘Lead strong,’ and the other one is ‘Make a difference,’ Eaves said to Atterbury. “In all honesty, that defines you. You led strong. You made a difference, and I appreciate that.”
As Eaves addressed Boothman, he had two words: “Welcome home.”
Boothman previously served as the AOG commander before moving into his role as the 131st Mission Support Group commander in January 2018. He handed over command of the MSG to Col. Mike Evans just prior to stepping back into the 157th group commander role.
Eaves likened Boothman to one of his favorite baseball players, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds, and said he was a fan for two reasons. One, Rose was an amazing utility player and two, he was always all-in.
“Wherever they needed Pete Rose they could put him, and he’d leave it all on the field,” Eaves said. “That’s Col. Boothman. He is my utility player. I can put him anywhere, and he’s committed 100 percent.”
After assuming command, Boothman told the crowd that it was awesome to be back home.
“I’m constantly humbled by the level of performance, the level of dedication to service, and I’m fortunate because I know I’m gaining that with the 157th,” Boothman said. “I can’t say thanks enough, and I’m proud to be back up here in front of you.”
More information on the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing can be found at http://www.131bw.ang.af.mil/. For more information on the Missouri National Guard, visit http://moguard.com/.