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NEWS | Oct. 12, 2018

628th ABW command chief retires after 30 years of service

By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Families, friends, fellow Joint Base Charleston members and civic leaders said farewell and good luck to Chief Master Sgt. Todd Cole, 628th Air Base Wing command chief, during his retirement ceremony here, Oct. 5, 2018.

Brig. Gen. John C. Millard, Air Mobility Command deputy director of strategic plans, requirements and programs, officiated the ceremony and recognized Cole’s Air Force career in his remarks.

“You have been my mentor, wingman and friend,” said Millard. “While serving together at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, you created a culture of trust, put the needs of Airmen first and helped them develop and perform as highly possible. Over the course of my career, there have been two chiefs who have truly influenced my life and today, I am proud to say that you’re one of them.”  

Cole, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, said he joined the Air Force in 1988 as an in-flight refueling specialist and had no intention of making it a career.

“I had my mind set that I would enlist for four years, learn a trade and separate,” said Cole. “It wasn’t until my first supervisor, who maybe saw some potential in me and pushed me to excel, that I changed my mind. He was a great mentor and motivated me to be successful in the career field and the Air Force. I realized I had great leadership and a job I really loved. I just wanted to keep going.”

Over the course of his 30 years of service, Cole has been assigned to eight different bases, flown 4,270 hours and directly led and impacted over 113,000 service members and their families. 

“Taking care of people who get the mission done has made serving very valuable to me,” said Cole. “The Air Force is a family and the camaraderie and bonds you build with your Air Force family will always stay with you.”

The ceremony concluded with Cole thanking his wife and children for their support and acknowledging past mentors who encouraged him throughout his career.

“I want to thank everyone from commanders, mentors, wingmen, family and all the men and women of Joint Base Charleston for attending,” said Cole. “I hope my family and I have left a positive impact, whether it’s through recognition programs, quality of life improvements or giving Airmen back time to focus on the mission. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”

Cole will be starting the next chapter of his life back in Utah to become an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor.