111th ATKW WING Command Chief retires after more than 24 years of military service

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Wilfredo Acosta
  • 111th Attack Wing

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Ferguson, 111th Attack Wing Command Chief, retired after more than 24 years of military service during a ceremony at Biddle Air National Guard Base, May 11, 2023.

Col. Deane Thomey, 111th ATKW Commander, presided over the retirement ceremony and presented Ferguson with two medals, the Legion of Merit and the Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal in a ceremony that included family, friends and coworkers.

“As the senior enlisted leader for the wing, Chief Ferguson was one of my closest advisors and a tireless advocate for our enlisted Airmen,” said Thomey. “He was instrumental in our Wing’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the civil unrest in 2021. Though his counsel will be sorely missed, I wish him and his family the best as they start this next chapter of their lives.”

Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Brig. Gen. Michael J. Reagan, Deputy Adjutant General of Pennsylvania-Air, and Commander of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Paul G. Frisco, State Command Chief of the Pennsylvania ANG; Chief Master Sgt. Robert Smith, 193rd Special Operations Wing Command Chief; and Chief Master Sgt. Scott Woods, 111th ATKW Command Chief. Also in attendance were Ferguson's coworkers from Barclays Financial Services, Anthony Barron, Director of U.S. Chief Operating Office Regulatory Engagement and Nick Pegg, Vice President U.S. Operating Office.

During his time as the wing senior enlisted leader, Ferguson was responsible for everything from enlisted personnel issues including professional military education, enlisted promotions and mentorship; to morale, family, and community relations.

Ferguson also served as the adviser to Wing boards such as the Chief’s Council, First Sergeant’s Council, Rising Six and Top 3.

Prior to assuming his role as the Wing’s senior enlisted leader, Ferguson served here as Security Forces Manager with 111th Security Forces Squadron.

During his retirement ceremony, Ferguson urged his fellow wingmen to make the most of educational opportunities and transition assistance offered to military personnel. Ferguson wasn’t just giving lip service. He earned two separate degrees and a position with a civilian employer before leaving the military.

Though Ferguson’s official retirement date wasn’t until February 2023, he transitioned from his role as the Wing’s senior enlisted leader to participate in a corporate fellowship with "Hiring our Heroes" that ultimately resulted in his current position as an assistant vice president with Barclays Financial Services. Ferguson officially relinquished his authority to Chief Master Sgt. Scott Woods, the current 111th ATKW Chief, during a ceremony held here Oct, 15, 2022.

During his remarks at that ceremony, Ferguson recalled his time as the Wing’s command chief master sergeant.

“I spent time reflecting on my three years and the amazing work and accomplishments of this Wing and it didn’t seem real,” said Ferguson. “The work we did during COVID-19, our domestic ops, and what this Wing contributed between the civil unrest in Philadelphia, the capitol riots in DC, and countless other engagements, I couldn’t be prouder of what each and every one of you has accomplished in these three years. And, I couldn't be prouder to be a member of this Wing.”

Ferguson entered the New York ANG in January of 1999 as a Security Forces Apprentice. The majority of his career has been spent in Security Forces with the exception of a three-year assignment as the Inspections Superintendent and Noncommissioned Officer-in-charge of Complaints Resolution for the 105th Airlift Wing’s Inspector General Office.

Ferguson has deployed multiple times in support of both Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

During his remarks at his retirement ceremony, Ferguson thanked his family and his fellow Guardsmen, for their support.

“I am honored to have had the privilege of serving my country for more than 24 years,” said Ferguson. “Though I am looking forward to this next chapter of my life as a military retiree working in the civilian sector, I will always look back fondly on my time spent with the Air Force and with the 111th Attack Wing.”