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NEWS | Dec. 9, 2019

Team Charleston Bids Farewell to Col. Happy Gilmour

By Tech Sgt. Della Creech 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Gregory S. Gilmour, outgoing commander of the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, retired after 33 years of service across the U.S. Air Force Reserve and U.S. Navy at a ceremony Dec. 8, 2019, at JB Charleston.

 “You couldn’t find a better character in a leader or a friend,” said Brig. Gen. Pennington, Mobilization Assistant to the commander and president, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Pennington has known Gilmour for about 15 years through military service. 

Since 2015, Gilmour stood as the 315th Wing commander. The 315 AW is the Air Force Reserve Command unit at the base with more than 2,500 assigned personnel.

Many reminisced fondly this weekend as friends from all walks of life and family attended Gilmour’s retirement ceremony. One such attendee was, classmate and now friend, Will Haynie, mayor of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. In 1982 Haynie, then the Cadet Regiment Commander, had the honor of swearing in a young Gregory “Happy” Gilmour into The Citadel, military college in Charleston. Swearing in young cadets is a long running Citadel tradition dating back to 1842 and is held in high regards to its members. 

“It’s a miracle to see how Happy has come from the young man at the Citadel to the leader he has become today,” said Haynie. 

Haynie said, Mt. Pleasant’s number one goal was to build a community of support, especially for great leaders like Gilmour and for JB Charleston. Most of all, he was proud to see his classmate retire after an accomplished career as a Naval and Air Force aviator. 

Gilmour spent 13 years as a naval aviator, including three shipboard deployments, before joining the Air Force Reserve in 1999. Gilmour has served tours of duty in the Mediterranean for Operations Desert Shield/Storm, as well as numerous deployments to the Caribbean and Pacific for Counter-Drug Interdiction. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in the C-17,  T-34, TH-57 A/C, SH-2F, SH-60B, and KC-135R/T/RT aircraft.

Gilmour will be proceeded by Col. Adam B. Willis, the former commander of the 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he commanded 19 units with an inventory of nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and more than 2,000 Airmen. 

“Col. Gilmour has a servant’s heart, much like Col. Willis,” said Maj. Gen. Randall A. Ogden, commander of 4th Air Force at March Air Reserve Base, California.

Many members of the 315th Airlift Wing wished a warm farewell to our “Happy” leader, Col. Gregory Gilmour and the best in retirement to him, his wife, Kathy and children, Matthew, Blake, and Marissa.