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    First female commander assumes command of 178th Wing

    First female commander assumes command of the 178th Wing

    Photo By Senior Airman Amber Mullen | Brig. Gen. James R. Camp, the assistant adjutant general of the Ohio Air National...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Rachel Simones 

    178th Wing

    The first female commander assumed command of the 178th Wing during a historic change of command ceremony.

    Col. Kimberly A. Fitzgerald assumed command of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing from Col. Gregg J. Hesterman, Nov. 3, at Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base in Springfield, Ohio.

    “I’m excited that all the women that are in this wing can see that they have a path,” said Fitzgerald.

    Fitzgerald previously served as the 178th Wing vice commander and assisted the commander in executing the 178th Wing mission. Her career spans 26 years of service and includes more than 4,000 flight hours as a KC-135 navigator, a KC-135 pilot, MQ-1 Predator pilot, and MQ-9 Reaper pilot. In 2011, she transferred to the 178th Wing where she served as the 162nd Flying Squadron commander and the Mission Support Group commander, before taking on her role as vice commander.

    “I would definitely say that all my experiences are very diverse and I think that has lead me to where I am,” said Fitzgerald. “I’ve not been afraid of trying new things and going new places.”

    Hesterman is moving on to a new leadership role as the director of staff at the Ohio Air National Guard. In this new role, he will be working for the Assistant Adjutant General for Air to ensure the 5,000 Airmen in Ohio have what they need to be successful. As Hesterman moves on to his new career, he reflected on his achievements as the 178th Wing commander.

    “When I look back over the last two and a half years what I’m most proud of are those three things: what I’ve learned, the relationships I’ve built and just the greater appreciation for what’s going on inside the Ohio Air National Guard,” said Hesterman.

    Hesterman also discussed the meaning of leadership from his military experiences.

    “An absolute critical piece is having a strong moral compass,” said Hesterman. “If you try to do things right while you still show empathy and it’s not about you, but you’re caring for your Airmen, then they’ll honor that. Even if they don’t agree with your ultimate decision, they’ll respect you because they know that you’re following a compass that is true and right.”

    As Fitzgerald takes on her new leadership role, she ushers in a new era at the 178th Wing.

    “Your limitations are only what you impose upon yourself,” said Fitzgerald. “The military no longer says ‘women can’t do.’ Only you can say what you can’t do.”



    Date Taken: 11.03.2019
    Date Posted: 11.03.2019 15:48
    Story ID: 350296

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