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Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air National Guard, poses next to an F-16 Fighting falcon from Oklahoma, after his retirement ceremony Jan. 29, 2013, at Joint Base Andrews, Md.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air National Guard, poses next to an F-16 Fighting falcon from Oklahoma, after his retirement ceremony Jan. 29, 2013, at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Wyatt retired after more than 40 years of military service culminating as the Director of the ANG where he was responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans, and programs affecting more than 106,700 ANG members in 89 wings and more than 200 geographically separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston/RELEASED)
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Air National Guard's top leader retires

Posted 1/29/2013   Updated 2/1/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Master Sgt. Jerry R. Bynum
Air National Guard Special Staff Public Affairs


1/29/2013 - WASHINGTON -- Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. "Bud" Wyatt III, director of the Air National Guard, retired after more than 40 years of military service during a ceremony hosted by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin Tuesday at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

"You have devoted yourself to your family, to your state, to this great nation ... you have had a service distinguished with integrity, with excellence, honor and conviction," said Fallin of Wyatt. "You've represented the Air Force, Oklahoma, the National Guard, and our Nation so very, very well."

Wyatt, an Oklahoma Air National Guardsman, served as the ANG director since February 2009. He was responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans, and programs affecting more than 106,700 ANG members in 89 wings and more than 200 geographically separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

"General Wyatt brought strength, resilience, and the spirit of our state known as the 'Oklahoma Standard' to the Pentagon and to the Adjutants General across the nation," Fallin said. "General Wyatt came to Washington in 2009 with a goal of making a difference ... you have accomplished that goal."

As director, Wyatt demonstrated exemplary foresight and ceaseless efforts to promote total force initiatives through the expansion of ANG capabilities in the midst of challenging economic constraints. He helped develop, foster, and communicate three separate force structure plans, which aligned and supported the National Defense Strategy and Global Force Generation models, ensuring no capability gaps in the air, space, and cyberspace domains. He tackled the largest budget cut since 1979, and propelled the ANG through a pivotal transition and adaptation of policy and processes.

"He has been a voice of reason through many different challenges facing the Guard and his leadership has contributed to the greatest of policy decisions," Fallin said of Wyatt. "There are very few who can compare to the determination, devotion, and the leadership that he has displayed throughout his entire distinguished career."

Wyatt's commitment and leadership to the principle of service has been demonstrated throughout his entire career. His focus on service to his country, state, and community both in his military and civilian capacity contributed significantly to his legacy as a dedicated servant and leader.

Wyatt entered the Air Force in 1971 as the 50,000th graduate from the Air Force Officer Training School. In 1977, Wyatt left active duty and joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard. There, he embodied the true character of the citizen-Airman by progressing through the military ranks while simultaneously maintaining a successful civilian career as an attorney and judge. Wyatt is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in various aircraft, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and he has served in multiple ANG leadership positions including group commander, wing commander, chief of staff, and as the Adjutant General of Oklahoma.

Wyatt understood the impact the director position has on ANG Airman. He said one of the things that helped him understand this was spending more than 30 years of his own career as a drill-status Guardsman.

[Wyatt] exemplified what it means to be a citizen-Airman," Fallin said. "He devoted himself to the defense of our nation ... you could count on General Wyatt for being an advocate for our Soldiers and those who serve our nation.

Wyatt was proud of where he came from throughout his entire military career. He understood the importance of being grounded with community and family. Taking the stage for the last time in his official capacity as the ANG's top leader, Wyatt offered his customary greeting to a large crowd of family, friends and colleagues.

"Hi, I'm Bud from Oklahoma," said Wyatt.

This emphasis on family and community motivated Wyatt's focus throughout his career centered on the Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence.

"I try to take care of Airman and Soldiers," said Wyatt, "because at the end of every day, there's an Airman or a Soldier out there in the field that's either going to be better off for what we do or going to be worse off. I tried to make sure that every day was a good day for our Airmen."

Wyatt's dedication to service and commitment to others was exemplified when he was honored with the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal. The award, which recognizes exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility, lauded Wyatt for his outstanding leadership, professionalism, initiative, dedication, and unwavering devotion to the welfare of service members, civilians and their families.

"We appreciate your contributions to not only Oklahoma," said Fallin. "You have contributed so much to the United States Air Force and also to the defense of our nation."

Wyatt's wife, Nancy Wyatt, was presented with the Exceptional Service Award recognizing her stalwart activism on behalf of military spouses, Airman and their families. Nancy Wyatt was instrumental in communicating initiatives on behalf of Dr. Jill Biden and first lady Michelle Obama to care for those who cared for wounded warriors. Nancy Wyatt reinvigorated a national family support program at senior National Guard levels and revitalized family support initiatives, which directly benefitted nearly 500,000 Guardsman.

"General Wyatt and Nancy have both been champions of the military family," said Fallin. "They've devoted themselves to the welfare of the Airman, Soldiers and families, reminding us that no battle is waged and won on the front lines only; it's accomplished through a joint effort of the warrior on the front line and the family back home that supports their Solider."

The accomplishments of the Wyatt's are a reflection of their character and ethics. Wyatt summed up his perspective on service and how it relates to strengthening of this Nation. He shared his perspective with

"If you take a look at the flag, and you marvel at the crimson, the true blue, and the purity of the white, and you know what that flag means for our country, you can't help but be impressed and respect the flag," said Wyatt. "But, as young people grow up, there is no guarantee that flag will always be bright red, true blue, or purity of white. There is a possibility that if you don't contribute to the defense of this country, that if you don't contribute in some way to public service, if you are more of a taker than a giver, that flag might not be hanging someday."

Wyatt continued by asking what happens when individuals take more than they give. He determined that the flag begins to change.

"The colors begin to fade, they begin to become pale, they're not bright, they're not crisp, [and] they're not pure anymore," Wyatt said. "What happens when the colors fade away? Does it fade to white, a flag of surrender? Does it fade to black, a flag signaling death? Or does it just disappear; is there no flag at all?"

Wyatt continued by saying that he along with his wife hope to continue a message of contribution as they move into retirement.

"The message that [Nancy and] I hope to be able to continue in [our] civilian life is a message of contribution," said Wyatt. "The last thing that [we] want ... is a flag that does not bare the red, white, and blue."

Wyatt concluded by sharing his thoughts on how the states and territories contribute to the strength of our Nation.

"The 54 [states and territories] contribute; if it weren't for the 54 this flag behind me would not be as strong and powerful as it is," Wyatt said. "It would not be the country that houses the greatest Air Force the world has ever known. There is strength in unity; we are the United States of America. And we all have the honor and privilege of serving in the world's greatest Air Force ... Guardsmen, reservist, and active component."

Wyatt ended his military career with a final salute to the men and women who he diligently served.

Following Wyatt's departure, Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, the commander of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, 1st Air Force, is scheduled to assume the senior leadership role in the ANG in late February.



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