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Wing Command Chief Carpenter retires, concluding a career that began in 1976

Col. Warren Hurst (left), Kentucky’s assistant adjutant general for Air, pins the Meritorious Service Medal on Chief Master Sgt. Curtis R. Carpenter, outgoing 123rd Airlift Wing command chief, during Carpenter’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on May 17, 2014. Carpenter served in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard for more than 34 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Horton)

Col. Warren Hurst (left), Kentucky’s assistant adjutant general for Air, pins the Meritorious Service Medal on Chief Master Sgt. Curtis R. Carpenter, outgoing 123rd Airlift Wing command chief, during Carpenter’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on May 17, 2014. Carpenter served in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard for more than 34 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Horton)

Col. Warren Hurst (left), Kentucky’s assistant adjutant general for Air, presents the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal to Chief Master Sgt. Curtis R. Carpenter, outgoing 123rd Airlift Wing command chief, during Carpenter’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on May 17, 2014. Carpenter served in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard for more than 34 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Horton)

Col. Warren Hurst (left), Kentucky’s assistant adjutant general for Air, presents the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal to Chief Master Sgt. Curtis R. Carpenter, outgoing 123rd Airlift Wing command chief, during Carpenter’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on May 17, 2014. Carpenter served in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard for more than 34 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Horton)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After more than 34 years of service to the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Curtis R. Carpenter was officially retired in a ceremony held in his honor at the Base Annex here May 17.

Carpenter, the wing command chief for the 123rd Airlift Wing, provided leadership and management of resources for all enlisted personnel, and advised the wing commander on matters of morale and the well-being of personnel.

"When I think of key words to describe the chief, I think of 'service' prefaced with 'outstanding,' 'professional,' 'dedicated,' 'committed,' 'loyal' and, most importantly, 'trusted,'" said Col. Warren Hurst, Kentucky's assistant adjutant general for Air.

"I had a tremendous amount of trust in his abilities as a wing command chief," Hurst said. "He provided a well-balanced and often historical insight into current issues, which allowed for greater clarity in the decision-making process."

Carpenter joined the active-duty Air Force as a radio maintenance technician in 1976 and served on active duty until 1980. He joined the Kentucky Air National Guard as a radio and telephone maintenance specialist in 1983 and held numerous leadership positions over the years, including plans chief for the 123rd Communications Flight and chairman of the Communications Plans Working Group for the Air National Guard. Carpenter was named wing command chief in 2009, a post he held until November 2013 when Carpenter was succeeded by Chief Master Sgt. Ray Dawson.

"He has genuine concern for his Airmen and it was evident in all he did," Hurst told an audience of more than 200 family, friends and coworkers. "The chief always made sure we recognized Airmen for a job well done. With a career that has spanned 35 years, you've had an impact on countless Airmen."

Carpenter deployed in support of numerous training exercises and contingency operations during his career, including Operations Noble Eagle and Bright Star in Egypt.

"Thank you, Chief, for all you did for the 123rd," Hurst said in conclusion. "For all the Airmen in the Kentucky Air National Guard, thank you for your wise council, professional performance and your friendship. You served the wing admirably and left a lasting good mark. Godspeed, my friend."

After being presented with a Meritorious Service Medal, a Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal and several mementos, Carpenter expressed his appreciation to friends and family who had supported him through the years.

"It's been a real honor to serve all of you," Carpenter said. "Thank you for the outstanding support you have always given me. You are simply the best. God bless you all and this great nation we serve."