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Kentucky’s state command chief retires after 35 years of service

Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (left), the adjutant general for Kentucky, pins the Legion of Merit onto Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore (right), the outgoing state command chief master sergeant, during Moore’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., on May 20, 2017. Moore is retiring after 35 years of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard and United States Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (left), the adjutant general for Kentucky, pins the Legion of Merit onto Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore (right), the outgoing state command chief master sergeant, during Moore’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., on May 20, 2017. Moore is retiring after 35 years of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard and United States Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore (right), the outgoing state command chief master sergeant, receives the Distinguished Service Medal from Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (left), the adjutant general for Kentucky, during Moore’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., on May 20, 2017. Moore is retiring after 35 of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard and United States Air Force. (U.S.  Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore (right), the outgoing state command chief master sergeant, receives the Distinguished Service Medal from Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (left), the adjutant general for Kentucky, during Moore’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., on May 20, 2017. Moore is retiring after 35 of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard and United States Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, KY -- After more than 35 years of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore was retired in a ceremony here May 20.

Moore, the outgoing command chief master sergeant for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, received the Legion of Merit during the ceremony.

The nation's seventh highest military honor reflects the dedication and service devoted by Moore during his more than three decades in uniform, said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, Kentucky's adjutant general.

"With 35 years of membership on a winning team of this variety, serving in Just Cause, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, I think he has a little sign on his campaign ribbon that says, ‘continued on next uniform,’" Hogan told the audience.

Moore enlisted in the Air Force in 1982 and soon began working on the then-classified F-117 Nighthawk program as a munitions expert. He continued his active-duty career for 18 years before joining the Kentucky Air National Guard in 2000.

Recognizing Moore for his direct nature, Hogan said, “Thank you, chief. Thank you for your input and unwashed opinion that was always correct. If you don’t want to hear what the man thinks, do not ask him — because he’s going to tell you, and he knew he had the freedom to tell me I was wrong.

“I think one of the things that I’ve appreciated most about the man is how he handled his charges and how he handled the individuals around him,” Hogan continued. “When we say goodbye to someone who has meant so much to the organization, it’s bittersweet, and to say we will miss you is an understatement. But the point of fact is that we won’t miss you, because this organization is reflective of the job you have done and the man that you are, and everything we do right from this point forward we will be looking at the reflection of your memory.”

Moore took the podium after being presented with numerous awards and gifts from the units and people he has influenced during his long career. He gave a tribute to his wife and thanked his family for their sacrifices during his career, then addressed the Kentucky Air National Guard and the 123rd Airlift Wing.

“I know you all have heard how great this wing is, but March 20, 2000, was my best assignment — I was assigned to the 123rd,” Moore said. “You’ve heard where I’ve been: 18 years’ active duty, I’ve worked with them all, and you all are the best there is.”

Moore went on the praise the efforts of the 123rd’s Airmen and their activities around the globe before introducing his successor to the audience.

“As the state command chief I’ve been here three years,” Moore said. “You’ve got a great new chief in Ray Dawson. He’s going to take this place to a whole new level.”

Moore capped off his retirement ceremony with a video presentation that reflected his career, and Hogan concluded with one last thank you.

“Thank you, sir. Not only on behalf of myself, but this organization and a grateful nation, thank you so very much.”