05/17/09 — Former 4th commander Kwast nominated for brigadier general

View Archive

Former 4th commander Kwast nominated for brigadier general

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 17, 2009 2:00 AM

Less than a year after relinquishing command of the 4th Fighter Wing, Col. Steve Kwast is set to receive his first star.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced Friday that Kwast was among those nominated by President Barack Obama for appointment to the rank of brigadier general.

The decision came only a few weeks after the colonel took command of the Bagram Airfield, Afghan-istan-based 455th Expedi-tionary Wing -- an assignment that will involve, among other tasks, leading members of Seymour Johnson's own 336th Fighter Squadron during their stint in the desert.

Kwast, who was a member of the 336th from 1990 to 1996, has worn many hats throughout his military career.

He recorded 238 combat hours during operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch and Endur-ing Freedom.

Kwast has earned several awards and decorations during his stint in the Air Force, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation medal.

But during his most recent stint in Goldsboro, he said rank and decorations meant little when compared to the people he has come across during his career.