HAFB Airman earns on-the-spot promotion

  • Published
  • By Richard Essary
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Technical Sgt. Alex Merrill, 649th Munitions Squadron, has another thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving after learning of a promotion to his new rank under the STEP, or Stripes for Exceptional Performers program.

Merrill was notified today of his promotion to technical sergeant during a surprise video call from Air Force Sustainment Center Commander Lt. Gen. Stacey Hawkins while attending an impromptu all-call with his squadron mates.

“Honestly, almost everyone that I have worked with – not just mentors – has inspired, humbled and taught me something during my career,” he said of his promotion. “I’m humbled and a little anxious for what the future holds, but absolutely ready to take it on.”

Each year, the STEP program is used by commanders across the service to award promotions to enlisted Airmen who demonstrate exceptional potential. Those selected assume the new rank immediately.

A native of Kennebunkport, Maine, Merrill gives credit to the support of his wife and three boys for his success. He serves as a precision guidance munitions crew chief for his squadron.