DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga – Lt. Col. Emily Steinfort took command of the 94th Civil Engineer Squadron from Maj. Joseph Thomas on Saturday, at a change of command ceremony at the 22nd Air Force Headquarters here.
During the ceremony, Col. Joseph Revit, 94th Mission Support Group commander, awarded Thomas the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts while commanding from May 20, 2016 to Aug. 1, 2020. During this time, Thomas successfully led over 160 personnel, managed over $5 million worth of materials, trained and equipped 24 unit type codes across engineering, fire protection and explosive ordnance disposal specialties to support overseas contingency requirements.
Even with the list of his accolades, Thomas said that his biggest accomplishment was the advancement of their squadron’s leadership development program. At each drill weekend, he had NCOs and Airmen focus on training and developing skills like critical thinking, leadership reactions, prioritizing, decision making and physical abilities.
While giving his farewell remarks, Thomas recalled the culture that he helped to cultivate in the squadron. The culture made it so that Airmen wanted to come to training and were excited to do their jobs to ensure that they would be mission ready, he explained.
“I can wholeheartedly feel comfortable transferring [the squadron] over because I know that this back bone is strong,” said Thomas. “The fortitude that you present is excellent.”
To Steinfort, he said, “I know you are going to do an excellent job because I know your character.”
After finishing his speech, Thomas officially transferred command of the squadron to Steinfort. She then gave her welcoming remarks, saying that it was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the 94th Airlift Wing’s leadership team.
Steinfort added, “I feel fortunate to work beside you.”
She then described her leadership philosophy, goals and intentions for the squadron.
Her main goal is to exceed any and all expectations by ensuring that her troops are ready for anything, she said. From administrative work to performance reviews, she wants to ensure the civil engineers are all well-equipped to go out the door.
“We have to remember that as a Citizen Airmen, we have to balance our life and priorities with the mission in mind because our job is to go down range,” said Steinfort.
She then reminded everyone of the vital role that Citizen Airmen play.
“We have to defend our nation,” said Steinfort. “We are only of the Air Force, but we play a very important part.”
Steinfort finished her welcoming remarks by exclaiming that it was time to get to work so that “we can continue to be poised to provide combat ready forces so we can fly, fight and win!”