Colorado Air National Guard welcomes new Assistant Adjutant General

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares
  • 140 WG PA
Colorado National Guard military members, civilians and dignitaries took part in a change of command ceremony here Sept. 10, during which Brig. Gen. William E. Hudson relinquished command of the Colorado National Guard-Air to Brig. Gen. Richard L. Martin.

Before the change of command ceremony Martin received the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments as the Director of Operations for the Colorado Air National Guard and was also promoted to brigadier general.

"It is a great day and well deserved day for Rick Martin," said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado who presided over the ceremony.

After the pinning of the insignia, the change of command began with Edwards delivering the oath of office to Martin and the honor Guard unfurling the Brigadier General flag, and finally the traditional change of command.

As Edwards spoke he asked the audience to look at the men and women of the COANG standing in formation.

"I wanted you to see that formation of professionalism and readiness because it's been led for the last four and a half years by Brig. Gen. Bill Hudson," said Edwards. "He has done a phenomenal job of ensuring the absolute readiness and absolute relevance of this great organization."

Edwards gave tribute to Hudson for his work as Assistant Adjutant General to Air.

"He has never ever backed down or failed in doing the right thing. He is an absolute gem and he will be sorely missed by all of us," said Edwards. "He has had more than 38 years of commissioned service where his love of country has always been at the forefront."

Hudson credited everyone who supported him throughout his career as the Assistant Adjutant General to Air for the Colorado National Guard.

"For the past four and half years as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air, these years have been nothing short of spectacular for me. I owe so much to so many for who I am and how I have grown over the years," said Hudson.

Edwards emphasized to Martin the importance of his new mission and the time that he will be spending with the COANG family.

"I will be counting on you to lead the charge on the Air National Guard side and work closely with our senior leadership in both Army and Air to ensure Colorado will continue to be relevant and ready to serve at the excellent level they had all these years," said Edwards. "It's going to be a new challenge for you."

Martin commissioned from the United States Air Force Academy in 1985 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He then went to pilot training at Williams AFB, Ariz. and became a Command Pilot with more than 4,600 hours of flight time and more than 120 hours of combat time over Iraq and Bosnia.

Martin joined the COANG in 1999 as the director of operations for the 200th Airlift Squadron, then became the squadron commander in 2002. He was then selected to be the State Director of Operations in 2007.

Now, as the new ATAG, he addressed his Airmen.

"I am a strong believer that building trust is more important than seeking recognition and I know your award winning track record and sterling reputation that Maj. Gen. Edwards and the rest of this organization has will continue to make this COANG a 'go to' organization in times of state and national need so let's be ready when called," said Martin.

In ending to the ceremony Martin thanked all who came to be with him during this time of celebration.

"I'm honored, privileged and excited to serve with each of you who proudly wear the cloth of this nation," said Martin.