SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Col. Mark Stafford bid farewell to members of the 7th Space Operations Squadron during a change of command ceremony on Sunday while Lieutenant Col. James Hogan was welcomed in as the new 7 SOPS commander. Col. Stephen Slade, 310th Operations Group commander, presided over the ceremony.
“This is the coolest mission we’re doing in space command right now,” said Stafford. “These guys [7 SOPS members] work hard, they’re dedicated. Thank you for everything you guys have done.”
The 7 SOPS that Col. Stafford leaves behind, said Slade, is stronger than the one he inherited, better postured to respond to current challenges and stay ahead of potential and future threats.
“When you look at 7 SOPS’ accomplishments over the past two years, it’s apparent that Col. Stafford and his team have contributed vastly to the 50th and the 310th Space Wing missions,” said Slade. “Specifically to evolve space and cyberspace warfighting superiority through integrated and innovative operations and to provide agile and combat space forces to win the fight.”
Slade thanked Stafford for his past two years of service and for honoring the sacred trust laid upon him as a commander.
“We’ll be sorry to lose you, but you and your wife, Jenny, have been a great example of all that is good and decent,” said Slade. “You’ve watched over this unit with their best interests at heart.”
7 SOPS will be gaining a truly great leader in Lieutenant Col. Hogan, according to Slade, who has no doubt that Hogan will bring great ideas and enthusiasm to his unit. Slade encouraged Hogan to treat his Airmen with dignity and respect and to ensure that they are successful in their life.
“Command is a sacred trust that we are given,” said Slade. “You have amazing influence over the lives of the Airmen you will lead. Don’t ever forget that they are sons and daughters of proud parents.”
Hogan has always wanted to be a squadron commander, he said, and feels his entire professional career has been preparing him for this moment.
“To the men and women of 7 SOPS, the oldest and best unit in the 310th Space Wing, I’m humbled to be your commander,” said Hogan. “I look forward to serving you. Every single Airman in our Air Force has a story, and I want to inspire you to dream bigger and go after your story.”
Hogan said his measure of success will be based on his ability to empower the members of 7 SOPS to be the best ambassadors for the Reserve component to the active component for the good of the mission.
“During my command tour, I am going to work daily on how to enable your success,” said Hogan. “My promise to you is that my decisions will be based on what is best for the mission and best for the unit.”