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Kentucky Guard welcomes new top enlisted Airman

The Kentucky National Guard welcomed Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore as the new state command chief master sergeant during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, Ky., July 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

The Kentucky National Guard welcomed Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore as the new state command chief master sergeant during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, Ky., July 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky National Guard introduced its newest top enlisted Airman in a change-of-responsibility ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda here July 11.

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Moore became the state's sixth state command chief master sergeant, succeeding Chief Master Sgt. James Smith.

"It is important to maintain continuity, but it is just as important to welcome change," Moore said. "I look forward to serving with (Kentucky National Guard State Command) Sgt. Maj. (Thomas) Chumley in making the Kentucky Guard truly a purple organization."

Moore, previously the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron enlisted manager, has served the Kentucky Air Guard since 2000 after 17 years in the active-duty Air Force.

With 32 years of total service, Moore now becomes the highest-ranking enlisted Airman in Kentucky, a role Kentucky's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini called "one of the most important roles in the Kentucky Air National Guard."

"He serves as my eyes and ears among the troops," Tonini said. "Chief Moore's qualifications for this job are unquestionable. He's excelled at every level, and his leadership and wisdom have brought distinction upon himself, the enlisted troops and his unit."

The state command chief master sergeant is an integral day-to-day member of the adjutant general's senior staff, overseeing the needs and concerns of the state's enlisted corps and is a vocal advocate on their behalf.

Moore said the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard have a history of great leadership, and he plans to continue that in his new role.

"I will be a 360-degree leader," Moore said. "I will lead south to individuals under my care. I will lead north to work with those that have authority over me. I will lead east and west impacting my peers, but most importantly, (I will) remain vigilant in maintaining my own compass, needle center."

Smith has served in the role since 2010 and will retire after nearly 40 years of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard.
In an emotional farewell, Smith said he was humbled to be included in the short list of the state's command chiefs.

"I wish Jeff all the best," Smith said. "It has truly been an honor to have served and a privilege to have been a member of the Kentucky Joint Forces Headquarters staff."