Maintainer retires after 36 years of military service

  • Published
  • By By Tech. Sgt. Jami Lancette
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
After 36 years of service before self, Chief Master Sgt. Chad Weisend, 434th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft maintenance superintendent, said goodbye to Grissom May 1.

Presiding over the ceremony, (Ret.) Col. Gary Beebe spoke highly of Weisend and his many years of service.

“Chad has always instilled the Air Force core values: Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do,” said Beebe. “I have never had any doubt in his abilities, whether it be in the military or the civilian world.

“Only one percent achieve the rank of chief master sergeant, and Chad is a true chief in every sense of the word,” Beebe added.

Weisend began his military career in 1984 joining the U.S. Navy where he spent four years in San Diego, assigned to the USS Carl Vinson as an aviation electrician for the S-3 Viking aircraft.

“I have a long history of military service in my family, so growing up I just knew it was something that I wanted to do,” said Weisend.

After his release from active duty, Weisend joined the Air Force Reserve as an aircraft electrician air reserve technician with the 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

In 1989 he joined the 434th Air Refueling Wing as an ART, and he planted his roots and accelerated his career.

“The thing I love most about this base are the people and the aircraft ,” said Weisend. “The camaraderie and the family environment is hands-down the best.”

Over the years, Weisend wore many hats and as he rose to chief master sergeant.

“(In the Air Force Reserve) I started out as an aircraft electrician,” he said.. “From there I was a flight chief, technical advisor to the group commander, quality assurance chief, assistant aircraft maintenance superintendent and since 2010 I’ve been the aircraft maintenance superintendent.”

During his career, Weisend has deployed to a variety of locations in support of Operations Desert Shield, Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve.

“Every time he wasn’t home and away on deployments he missed birthdays, anniversaries and sporting events because he was out serving his country strong,” Beebe said. “We want to recognize and celebrate his 36 years of military service and sacrifice.

“We also want to thank his family and friends for their support on behalf of this great nation,” added Beebe.

With his years of experience and expertise, Weisend’s main goal was to help groom the future force within the 434th AMXS.

“Throughout my career I enjoyed molding young minds and turning them into great mechanics,” said Weisend. “Continuing the great tradition that Grissom has for aircraft maintenance was always my biggest goal and something that I will always cherish.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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