3rd AF CC promotes officers to captain

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Thirteen officers were promoted to the rank of captain on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, May 26, 2017, in a ceremony presided over by the 3rd Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark.

Most of the promotees graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, when Clark served as commandant of cadets.

“I’m really excited to see the kind of things you will do from here on out,” Clark said to the new captains. “I’ve seen you guys at the academy, and I’ve seen some of you on the job. I know what a good batch of Airmen I have here.”

Clark listed the qualities a good officer should possess, and told a couple of stories to illustrate his point.

One of his parables was that of a wealthy farmer looking for an heir to his property. The farmer met with his farmhands and gave each one a seed. The farmhands would each take care of their seeds, and whoever had the healthiest plant after a certain period of time would become the heir.

However, one of the farmhands noticed his seed wouldn’t grow, no matter how much he took care of it. On the day of decision, he brought in a pot of dirt while his peers came in with lush and vibrant plants.

To the surprise of the farmhands, the man who had only the pot of dirt was selected. It turned out the farmer boiled the seeds before he distributed them as a way to test the integrity of his workers.

“This farmhand showed honesty while the all rest lied,” Clark said, moving on to the moral of his story. “When you plant courage, you harvest strength. When you plant devotion, you harvest loyalty. And when you plant integrity, you harvest trust.”

Capt. Kevin Durr, one of the promotees, said it was encouraging to hear a familiar voice ushering him forward into a new chapter of his career.

“Having Lt. Gen. Clark as the presiding official was a nice 'deja-vu' moment for all of us,” said Durr, who serves as the program manager for the Warrior Preparation Center. “At (USAFA), he was a very influential leader and addressed our class regularly. The promotion ceremony was a fantastic opportunity to come together as a class, celebrate our successes and listen to more of his lively stories.”

Durr said the lessons he learned while he was a cadet at USAFA will carry him even farther as an Airman, especially since he will be taking on more responsibility with his new rank.

“Personally, my experiences at USAFA sharpened my time management skills,” Durr recalled. “At USAFA you learn to balance tough academics with military duties and athletics, while attempting to maintain an active social life. Attaining these qualities will help me throughout my career, as responsibility grows and time becomes a more valuable asset.”

As the new captains celebrate their promotion, Clark encouraged them to always remember their core values and never forget who they are as Airmen.