94th OG welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Kincaid
  • 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 94th Operations Group hosted a two-part ceremony for their new commander, Col. Richard “Kono” Konopczynski III on Aug. 6 here.

The ceremonies were presided over by 94th Airlift Wing Commander, Col. Michael Parks, beginning with Konopczynski’s promotion ceremony from lieutenant colonel to colonel. Immediately following his promotion Konopczynski assumed command of the group.

“From Col. Konopczynski’s humble beginning as a combat communications Airman to his time as the 700th Airlift Squadron’s Director of Operations, he has embodied what we value most in our leadership,” Parks told the crowd. “You are humble, you are approachable and you are credible.”

Serving in the U.S. armed forces is a family affair, and the ceremonies were particularly poignant to the family as Konopczynski’s son, Richard Konopczynski IV, is also an Airman at the 94th AW. Senior Airman Konopczynski is a Loadmaster in the 700th Airlift Squadron and had the opportunity, along with the entire Konopczynski family, to witness his father promote to a position that fewer than 1% of service members ever reach.

“Having the opportunity to witness and take part in such an incredible event, has been extremely impactful,” said Richard. “It has motivated me to maintain a strong image of our work ethic and demand more from myself as an Airman and individual. He’ll leave a legacy near impossible to beat.”

Investing in his Airmen is a high priority for Konopczynski. In his first remarks to the group, he detailed how he plans to help Airmen reach their goals.

“Set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them,” said Konopczynski. “Be accountable for your actions and look at every challenge as an opportunity to grow and develop. Surround yourself with people you respect and emulate their positive traits. If you care for others and the mission, you will undoubtedly be a success.”

The new commander spoke on his vision for the 94th OG and the three focal points he will use to maximize the efficiency of his Airmen.

“We are going to get after readiness,” said Konopczynski. “We have great people capable of accomplishing anything they put their minds to. I’m passionate about our mission and the contributions we make at Dobbins and across the world. My plan is to leverage new ideas to drive innovation into our daily operations. Aviate, navigate and communicate!”