Obertanec assumes state command chief role
By Senior Airman Kayla McWalter, N.H. Headquarters Air Staff
/ Published August 10, 2015
PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- Chief Master Sgt. David Obertanec assumed authority as the state command chief from Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Collier during a ceremony here Aug. 9.
Obertanec, who served three years on active duty before joining the 157th Air Refueling Wing, recognized Collier as well as other command chiefs before him.
"The men and women before me gave so much of their careers to get us where we stand today," the newly minted command chief added it was through their leadership that has fostered a positive environment for Airmen at Pease.
Collier, who will assume a new position within the N.H. Air National Guard, stepped off the stage and walked amongst Airmen to address them as the state's senior enlisted leader for the final time.
"Thank you for inspiring me every day," Collier said.
Obertanec during his tenure as the state's senior enlisted leader intends to focus on enlisted professional development and the continuation of leading an environment of putting Airmen first.
"One of my goals is to mentor and flourish our enlisted force," said Obertanec, who has served 29 years in the wing. "Our Airmen play an extremely important part in our total force concept."
In his previous role as the military personnel management officer for N.H. Headquarters Air Staff, the chief was responsible for ensuring that the adjutant general and other senior leaders are aware of issues pertaining to personnel programs at higher headquarters and within the wing.
New Hampshire National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. William Reddel III, whom the chief will report to, said he was confident in the job Obertanec will do based on his previous experience working with him.
"When faced with a challenge and asked who to call it was always David Obertanec," said Reddel. "He'll make sure it gets done."
The chief reminded members of the wing to continue to push forward with professional development and readiness.
"As a team we can develop senior leaders who are ready to meet and overcome challenges," he said. "We need to keep focus on the readiness of our Airmen and continued changes throughout our Air Force."
Obertanec said he has always had his eye on the people, the Airmen and Soldiers that make up the N.H. National Guard, whether it was working as an administrative specialist, military personnel superintendent, base education and training manager or as an information management craftsman.
Our Airmen without a doubt are elite in their career fields, Obertanec said, the best armor for our mission is our Airmen.
The state's new command chief expressed his gratitude for every man and woman, and their families, that work hard to maintain such a crucial mission.
Obertanec closed the ceremony by reminding Airmen of the Airman's Creed.
"We are a guard unit's 'guardian of freedom and justice,' our 'nation's sword and shield,' acting as wingmen leaders and warriors promising to 'never leave an airman behind,' never to falter and never to fail," Obertanec said.
"As we move forward my hope is we will all continue to be great wingmen and look out for each other."