By Dan McDonald
For Hometown News
BREVARD -- Four Air Force personnel, currently assigned to various duty stations in Brevard County, have soared to the top of the enlisted pay grade by achieving the highest rank open to them - chief master sergeant - during a Chief's Recognition Ceremony in Cocoa Beach on Saturday, March 2.
The four distinguished service members, who are now among the top 1 percent of all Air Force personnel are:
Chief Master Sgt. Drew Barber, who serves as assistant maintenance superintendent of the United States Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing, maintenance squadron, based at Patrick Air Force Base. Chief Master Sgt. Barber overseas the maintenance of the 920th's five HC130 King planes and nine HH60G Pave Hawk helicopters.
Chief Master Sgt. Philip LeMaitre, USAF operations superintendent, national reconnaissance office, Office of Space Launch for the Air Force Space Command; serves at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and is superintendent of ground operations for military satellite processing.
Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Newton Jr., is superintendent of equal opportunity for the 45th Space Wing, and is stationed at Patrick Air Force Base. His role is to train Air Force personnel on the intricacies of laws, regarding discrimination and work-place compliance with state and federal guidelines.
Chief Master Sgt. Marcia Scantlebury-Hall, is superintendent of the 45th Force Support Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base. She oversees programs involving morale and welfare at the base, although she is currently deployed overseas and was not present to accept her award in person.
"It's actually totally surreal to attain this rank," said Chief Master Sgt. LeMaitre, a native of Midwest, WY, who has 25-years of service under his belt. "It's something you can dream about, but it's like grabbing the brass ring. It really seems unattainable. Then it happened, and it's amazing, and I'm thrilled and blessed to have been recognized with this honor."
Chief Master Sgt. LeMaitre, who is making his third tour of duty in Brevard, said he couldn't imagine a better way to finish up his career, and as his newly promoted colleagues would agree, said he is both honored and humbled by this achievement.