TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
With a grasp of the guidon, Command Chief Master Sergeant Maribeth O. Ferrer assumed command chief responsibilities of the Air Force Sustainment Center Aug. 25 during a ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.
Ferrer is the seventh command chief of the center and the first woman to hold the role. During her 27-year career, she has served in six different major commands with overseas assignments in Korea, Italy and Turkey and deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and United Arab Emirates.
Traditionally, the command chief advises the commander on all enlisted matters including readiness, training, professional development, morale and quality of life. At AFSC, where the workforce is predominantly civilian, the command chief expands their role to ensure all Airmen, whether military or civilian, have their attention and support.
“It’s not just the enlisted Airmen of the AFSC,” said Lt. Gen Stacey Hawkins, AFSC commander. “Chief Ferrer leads all 42,000 of the officers, enlisted, reservists, guardsmen, and civilian Airmen that make up this warfighting organization getting after producing the readiness necessary to deter our adversaries.
“To entrust a leader to assume that responsibility … you don’t pull anyone off the street. It takes about 27 years to build a sustainment center command chief - 27 years full of experience, knowledge building, and selfless sacrifice.”
Ferrer immigrated to the United States from the Philippines as a teenager and upon the advice of her father, joined the Air Force.
“The legacy that she stands on – the family legacy because of her Filipino roots - is a legacy that propels her to be a part of generational excellence, generational progression” Hawkins said. “It’s a spirit that comes from the place where she started her life.”
Ferrer, whose background is Aerospace Medical Service, is eager to take on the role.
“It’s an honor to serve such an exemplary organization as the AFSC,” she said. “I am absolutely excited to be your chief to carry out our call to action to produce to promise.
“Rest assured that I am in lock step with the commander with all the things we are doing, not just to attract the many great talents into the organization, but to retain and develop a group of resilient, multi-capable military and civilian Airmen, Airmen that thrive in an empowered culture that honors tradition and values,” she continued.
Hawkins said the contribution of the center command chief in establishing a strategic trajectory is vital.
“She will help shape what this center will be for the decades to come,” Hawkins said. “She is the right leader at the right time to help us forge readiness for today and help us accelerate innovation for tomorrow.”