This past Saturday, I had the great honor and fortune to attend Maj. Gen. Bruce Tuxill's retirement ceremony. Gen. Tuxill was the Adjutant General for Maryland, and served in that capacity with distinction. The wing was invited to attend because, as the General put it, we "were there for the guard".
As with most of these ceremonies, there was a lot of hurry up and wait. We, along with representatives of the National Guard, Air Guard and Maryland Defense Force rehearsed the ceremony to ensure everyone was on the same page. The rehearsal went smoothly, and we were dismissed early for lunch and general wandering around.
I took the only other cadet from my squadron able to attend to the Maryland Military Museum, which seemed to focus entirely on Maryland's contribution to the First World War. There was, however, a nice video on the State's involvement in the Second World War.
The rest of the day besides the ceremony itself was spent mingling with two of the group commanders, a couple of the wing staff members, and representatives of several other CAP squadrons. Some Cadets did a rousing rendition of "Don't Stop Believing"to pass the time. As Major Tiso (our group Emergency Services Officer) observed, it's a great song when Journey sings it, but they were having fun (and so was I).
Around 12:00, an Air Force Major came to us and called all the Civil Air Patrol's representatives over. He spoke for several minutes about how the (former) Adjutant General was incredibly impressed with our performance, and how much he appreciated our help. As a result, we were all presented with a Challenge Coin for our service during that day, and for the duration of the General's command.
The ceremony itself was not so breif, but the comments made by the the guests were. The Governor, the incoming Adjutant General and General Tuxill all made speeches. The General, having a lot to be proud of, cited the combat sorties flown by the Air Guard in support of operations around the globe, and the deployment of Military Department forces to support the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina.
The General did speak breifly about the Wing, noting that although we weren't under the Maryland Military Department, we were there when the Guard needed us, and he thanked us for our help once again.
I must thank the General for all the support he has given us. He has gone to bat for this wing more times than most, giving us money from his department, providing National Guard Support, and serving as a champion of our organization as a whole. He has placed himself in front of the State Legislature to get us money, and assigned us missions that would normally be assigned to Guard units.
As I said in my last post, General Tuxill's support for the Maryland Wing has been unwavering, and serves as an example to Adjutant Generals of all states. I wish I had a challenge coin to give the General, as a way to say Thank You to him.
Good Luck Sir, and Semper Vigilans!