Chief Hager retires after 33 years of service

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Madison Beichler
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Chief Master Sgt. Michael S. Hager, non-commissioned officer in charge of the 123rd Medical Group’s Detachment 1, retired from military service during a ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here Sept. 10, ending a career spanning 33 years.

Lt. Col. Tiffany Hubbard, detachment commander, spoke highly of Hager’s character during the ceremony, which was held in base Fuel Cell Hangar.

“Integrity, excellence and selflessness are all Shawn,” she said. “Thank you, Shawn, for your guidance, leadership and mentorship throughout the years.

“He spent countless off-duty hours mentoring, monitoring and assuring that members of the 123rd Medical Group were in a better state to serve at the forefront of the leadership and state’s calling,” she added, just before pinning a Meritorious Service Medal to his uniform.

Hager began his military career in 1989 by enlisting in the Kentucky Air National Guard, where he served as a medical material technician until 1994. From 1994 to 2011, Hager served as non-commissioned officer in charge for both radiology and medical logistics.

In 2011, Hager attended the United States Air Force First Sergeant Academy, jumpstarting his career as a first shirt. While serving in this role, he was the principal advisor to the medical group commander on all issues related to enlisted members. Hager was named the Kentucky Air Guard’s First Sergeant of the year in 2018.

At the ceremony’s close, Hager reflected on his time with the unit
“Someone recently came up and was telling me how he’s changed,” Hager recalled. “My reaction to that was, ‘I hope so.’ If I am the same person that I was several years ago, then I’ve failed. I’ve failed to grow. I’ve failed to fail. By failing, we grow. Only through change do we get better. I would be surprised if we didn’t change.

“I expect you to change,” he continued. “You should never stop learning and wanting to grow. I want to thank my team for allowing me to grow and helping me become a better leader. I encourage everyone to fail, grow and change."