JACKSONVILLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Fla. --
The 125th Communications Flight held its change of command ceremony at the 125th Fighter Wing, Aug. 10, 2019.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew L. Giles, outgoing 125 CF Commander, released the reins to Capt. T. Paul Martin, with 125th Mission Support Group Commander U.S. Air Force Col. Jason A. Lay presiding over the ceremony.
“The Commandos are a special flight with a unique mission,” said Lay. “Serving people from Jacksonville to Homestead, mile for mile, pound for pound, we are only 31 strong – that’s a tall task.”
Giles began working to recruit Martin for service at the 125 CF while out on deployment, knowing right away that he was special.
“Anything you throw at him he does even better,” said Giles. “This is the right person to lead, he’s the real deal.”
Currently, Martin has 23 Air Force years under his belt, 18 of those spent at the 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron. Most recently, he served as one of the Communications Operations Flight Commanders there.
Martin also served his country through multiple overseas deployments, to include Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and Operations New Dawn, Noble Eagle, Inherent Resolve, Spartan Shield, Juniper Cobra and Steadfast Cobalt.
“We always hear ‘Thank you for your service,’ but the brunt of that falls on the family,” said Giles.
Martin devoted years to the enlisted ranks before ever commissioning, promoting all the way to master sergeant. He said he’s always had a desire to lead at the next level, and he got that drive from his mother.
“My mom really pushed me to be that guy to get things done,” said Martin… “fire through.”
Additionally, Martin also gains insight from leadership books, with John Maxwell being one of his favorite authors on the subject.
After the official announcement, Martin expressed his excitement.
“I am ecstatic to be here,” said Martin. “Thank you Lt. Col. Giles for paving the road for me. And thank you Col. Lay for giving me this opportunity.”