01/13/06 — SJAFB staff chosen for promotion to colonels

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SJAFB staff chosen for promotion to colonels

By Turner Walston
Published in News on January 13, 2006 1:49 PM

Five lieutenant colonels from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base were recently selected for promotion to colonel.

The officers were selected by the Promotion Board at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, in September, and were notified in December.

Lt. Col. Brian Killough is the commander of the 4th Operations Support Squadron. Killough, with 18 years of Air Force service, is from Lancaster, S.C.

"When I came in the Air Force, I kind of set a goal to be at lieutenant colonel, and I would like to be a commander," Killough said. "But to go any farther is kind of icing on the cake. I'm just happy to continue to work."

Killough said his selection was a tribute to his airmen, as well.

"I've always believed if you took care of the people, they would take care of the mission," Killough said. "I have such great people here that work with me. It's really a joy and a pleasure to work for them as the commander."

The promotion will carry new opportunities for the colonels, Killough said. That might mean he will have to leave the cockpit.

"It will likely take me to places that may not involve flying, but will have their own opportunities, just like flying does," he said. "My family and I could be based anywhere."

Killough said several months would likely pass before his promotion ceremony.

"I anticipate it will probably be in the October timeframe," he said. "It's a fairly lengthy wait, but happiness is (getting) a line number."

Debbie Riso, chief of customer support for the 4th Mission Support Squadron, said there can only be a certain number of colonels in the Air Force. Officers chosen then must wait for slots to open, through promotion, retirement or separation.

"There's quotas to meet," she said. "They have a number that they can promote each month based off of projected loss numbers."

Mrs. Riso said officers who earn the rank of colonel set out to do so early in their careers.

"It's real important as an officer to get your name out there," she said. "As a lieutenant, you should be involved and out there in front."

Colonel candidates are evaluated by a senior rater, who submits a promotion recommendation to the selection board, which meets to determine who is selected. In 2005, 405 colonels were chosen out of 4,130 candidates.

The promotion rate for Seymour Johnson colonel candidates was above the Air Force average.

"Outstanding officers," Mrs. Riso said of the 4th Fighter Wing. "The cream of the crop. Fourth but first," she said, referring to the wing's motto.

Four other lieutenant colonels will join Killough.

* Lt. Col. Mark Kelly, commander of the 333rd Fighter Squadron. Kelly, a native of Houston, Texas, has served 19 years in the Air Force.

* Lt. Col. Scott Kindsvater, commander of the 336th Fighter Squadron. The Dodge City, Kan., native has served in the Air Force for 16 years.

* Lt. Col. Douglas Reynolds, an Air War College student. Reynolds, of Corvallis, Ore., has 19 years of Air Force service.

* Lt. Col. Joseph Swillum, the deputy commander of the 4th Maintenance Group. Swillum has 22 years of service and is from Troy, Ill.

The officers should be proud, Mrs. Riso said. "If you make colonel, you have to feel pretty good," she said. "Not everybody can make colonel."