Nickson Takes Command of 434th SFS

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexa Culbert
  • 434 ARW

The 434th Security Forces Squadron said goodbye to their commander and welcomed a new one during a change of command ceremony here, February 4, 2023.

Lt. Col. Matthew Garvelink relinquished command to Capt. Chadwick Nickson.

The ceremony was presided by Col. Gretchen Wiltse, 434th Mission Support Group commander.

After officially taking command, Nickson stated his expectations and goals for the squadron as its new commander.

“My intent here is to create an environment that promotes competence, where everyone has a path to success, no matter who you are, or how you define success,” Nickson said. “…The 434th SFS should not be confused with a college campus, I cannot stress that enough. We do not come out here to learn mere academics, we do not come out here to learn theory. This is not a college campus; this is a war fighting machine. We are training warriors and we are in the business of lethality.”

The new commander ended his speech with a quote from American Football player, Tim Tebow.

“Tim Tebow said when we are successful, we influence our own lives, but when we are significant, we influence others. So, my challenge to everyone out there is to not aim to be successful, because that’s selfish. I want you to aim to be significant.”

Before passing the guidon, Garvelink addressed the squadron one last time, and he shared something a high school coach had said to him when he was 17 years-old, that he now applied to his Air Force career.

His coach has said you either get better or worse, but you never stay the same, because if your opponent is putting in the extra hours that you’re not, then you are getting worse by comparison.

 “I am thrilled Captain Nickson is coming here, because he is going to make this squadron better. This Wing and this Air Force will get better and rise to the challenges.”