Chief Master Sgt. David Wohleben becomes the new 107th Command Chief
By Capt. Elaine Nowak, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published May 15, 2011
NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION (5/15/2011) -- A Transfer of Authority ceremony was held here Saturday, May 14 as an Olcott, New York resident, Chief Master Sgt. David R. Wohleben assumed the position of Command Chief Master Sergeant of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing.
Chief Wohleben becomes the highest enlisted member of the unit, charged with overseeing all aspects of the enlisted force including professional military education, promotions, mentorship, morale and the like. He is the top enlisted advisor to the wing commander.
Wohleben, from Sanborn, New York enlisted into the Air Force after graduating from Starpoint Central in 1981. He transferred to the New York National Guard in 1985 after finishing his four year active duty commitment. He has since served with the 107th as an Avionics Aerospace Ground Equipment supervisor, Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory Specialist, In-flight Air Refueling Specialist, Instructor Boom Operator, Financial Management Superintendent and, most recently, the Chief Enlisted Manager.
His military awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal.
The ceremony transferred the position from Chief Master Sgt. Richard D. King who has held the position since 2006. He is vacating his role to take on a position of higher influence, as the New York Air National Guard Command Chief, the highest enlisted member in the state. He will be representing the over 5000 enlisted airmen of the New York Air Guard.
King passed along advice to Wohleben in his ceremony speech saying, "Airmen are your first priority and the easiest way to take care of them is to never forget where you came from."
He conveyed his confidence in Wohleben, congratulating him and wishing him the best.
Wohleben accepts the position with "great humility and honor," fulfilling his 30-year dream. He shared his vision of the future for the 107th Airlift Wing, with a goal of helping enlisted members recognize their individual potential and helping them achieve it, improving the wing as a whole.
He understands why he was selected for this position, because his priorities are already in line with the wing commander's- taking care of the men and women of the wing and leading by example.
"One of the best lessons I have learned in my career is to make your boss's priorities your priorities," Wohleben said.
Col. Jim S. McCready, 107th Airlift Wing Commander, spoke and congratulated Wohleben on his accomplishments.
"The young Airmen of the 107th would be wise to emulate your enthusiasm, boundless energy, and infectious positive attitude," he said.
McCready also took the time to thank King for his "energy, direction and dedication," for his five years as unit command chief and 28 years in the 107th.
Wohleben ended his remarks by sharing something that he has always told his two children, "Whatever organization you belong to, leave it better than when you arrived," he said. "I hope to leave the 107th Airlift Wing a better organization than when I arrived," he said.