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910th welcomes its 27th commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Noah J. Tancer
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Joseph Janik, vice commander of the 910th Airlift Wing since November 2017, assumed command of the wing during a change of command ceremony on Feb. 9, 2019, here.

The 910th Airlift Wing Base Honor Guard opened the ceremony with an honor cordon for the presiding officer Maj. Gen. Craig La Fave, commander of 22nd Air Force, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.

“So, what is this about being a wing commander?” asked La Fave. "I can tell you, it’s not much about authority and power. It’s about responsibility, it’s about duty, it’s about honor for God and country. It’s about giving a hundred and ten percent to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Before the change of command and exchange of the 910th flag, La Fave presented the Legion of Merit to Col. Dan Sarachene, the outgoing wing commander. The Legion of Merit is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements in the United States Armed Forces.

“We’ve got a very senior leader here,” said La Fave. “I’ve had perfect trust and confidence in this leader. He’s led you with distinction for a couple years, and he will continue to serve with distinction, I’m sure. I love coming to Youngstown Air Reserve Station. You are a very strong team with one strong wing commander on the way out and soon to be a strong wing commander on the way in.”

After the general finished speaking of Sarachene’s achievements, the Legion of Merit medal and the 910th AW, Sarachene offered remarks.

“The best thing to happen to me in my professional career has been the honor and the privilege to be the 910th Airlift Wing commander,” said Sarachene. “I’ve been moved by many people these last couple months. Thank you for your well wishes. I have one thing to do, and that’s to recognize all the Airmen in formation out there. One person gets recognized, but there is a lot behind that. I certainly couldn’t have done it without the Airmen at the wing. I’m very proud to have been part of this team. No Air Force, no wing is better than its Airmen. Aim high, thank you.”

In Sarachene's signature good humor and team spirit, he pulled out a selfie stick to take one last selfie with his Reserve Citizen Airmen before concluding his comments and relinquishing his command.

“I’m excited for the next chapter of the 910th Airlift Wing,” said Sarachene. “Col. Joe Janik is the man. He is an outstanding Airman. He’s a great officer. He’s a good person, somebody I’d call my friend and an excellent teammate. He’s been my wingman for the past 18 months or so. We are very fortunate to have him lead the 910th.”

La Fave directed some of his remarks toward the incoming commander. 

“Okay Joe, Col. Janik,” said La Fave. “I’m excited to have you. You have my full trust and confidence. He’s going to take the guidon here in a moment. He’s going to move his wing commander patch to the top of his name tape. He’s going to be the 910th Airlift Wing commander. He will use bold leadership, take smart risks and foster a culture of trust and innovation.”

Janik officially became the 910th AW’s 27th commander, and the first 910th Airlift Wing vice commander to directly ascend to being the commander, with the hand-off of the 910th guidon from Sarachene to La Fave and then La Fave to Janik.

“To the men and women of the 910th, how blessed am I to lead this wing?" said Janik. "Our Wing is certainly a gem of the Valley and of the Air Force Reserve. Your awesomeness and dedication to the mission is second to none. Thank you for your service and dedication. We will continue to further the cause of supporting the Air Force mission to fly, fight and win by providing a current, qualified and mission-ready force. Three steadfast principles that will guide us in our mission success are: trust, discipline and culture. I ask that you do your best every day and continually ask yourself, ‘Am I ready?’ and I will do the same.”

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