Hill hosts Honorary Commander induction, alumni reception

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Thirty local community members were inducted into the Team Hill Honorary Commander Program Feb. 1 at The Landing here.

More than 70 guests attended the recognition ceremony where civic leaders met their assigned base counterparts for the first time to learn more about the unique scope of their responsibilities.

A formal Air Force public affairs initiative, the program is designed to increase public awareness and understanding of Air Force missions and capabilities through key relationships.

Honorary Commanders spend time involved in group events on base, immersed within their associated organizations, and interacting one-on-one with Airmen.

Selected Honorary Commanders represent a cross-section of the community at large, to include educators, business professionals, elected officials, and nonprofit leaders.

“It’s an honor to be inducted and partnered with the 649th munitions Squadron,” said Amber Greenwell, Select Employer Group Manager for America First Credit Union. “I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and grow alongside Lt. Col. Will Thomas and to work together to integrate our communities and areas of expertise.”

Honorary Commanders are encouraged to invite their Team Hill leadership counterparts to meetings and events off base to educate them on Utah’s social, cultural and business environment through their particular roles within the community.

Additionally, the event served to recognize outgoing Honorary Commanders who recently completed their two-year term within the program.

Col. Jennifer Hammerstedt, 75th Air Base Wing commander, thanked each individual with a commemorative lapel pin, transferred them into an esteemed alumni status, and strongly encouraged ongoing Air Force ambassadorship.

“Looking out at the most recent group of Honorary Commanders to complete their tenure, I see the faces of dedicated friends we cannot afford to lose,” she said. “Keeping our dynamic alumni fully engaged is not only a priority, it’s critical to maintaining the incredible community partnerships we’re so fortunate to enjoy.”

Hammerstedt’s outgoing counterpart, Ed Ehrenberger, General Manager for Hershey’s Chocolate West Coast Distribution Center, reciprocated the sentiment, explaining that he’s looking forward to being involved in the Alumni Program.

As Honorary Commanders, we get very attached to and invested in our assigned organizations’ activities, but when our term is over, we can end up out of touch,” he said. “It’s great to know that now we’ll have a better opportunity to stay connected and further develop these wonderful relationships.”