04/02/10 — A sacred trust: Being commander is true honor and an awesome responsibility

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A sacred trust: Being commander is true honor and an awesome responsibility

Col. Patrick Doherty is right, he should be humbled to have been chosen as the next commander of the 4th Fighter Wing -- not that it is not an honor well-earned.

The colonel also seems to understand that he has big shoes to fill -- a line of commanders who have served with distinction and honor. He will have to match the grace with which the most recent 4FW leader Col. Mark Kelly guided his airmen through tragedy and inspired them on to battle. And that will not be an easy job.

But what is most impressive about the wing's newest leader is that he gets why he is there -- and to whom he owes the best possible job he can do.

Col. Doherty is there for the men and women who don uniforms every day to carry out the mission of the U.S. Air Force and for the citizens of the United States who are counting on him and his fellow airmen to keep them safe.

And he knows what a sacred trust that is.

Col. Doherty knows he has a mission and commanders of his own to answer to -- and he will serve them with loyalty and distinction.

But in the end, it will be those airmen who will be foremost on his mind and the source of his greatest confidence and pride.

So while Wayne County will say goodbye to a fine man and a good leader in Col. Kelly, it looks forward to welcoming Col. Doherty -- an old friend in a new role, and one who will make his base, airmen and community proud.

Published in Editorials on April 2, 2010 10:29 AM