Protzmann retires as Hutchinson assumes command of NHANG

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla McWalter
  • N.H. Headquarters Air Staff
Brigadier Gen. Paul "Hutch" Hutchinson assumed command as the assistant adjutant general (ATAG) and commander of the N.H. Air National Guard from Brig. Gen. Carolyn Protzmann during a change of command ceremony here Aug. 8.

New Hampshire National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. William Reddel III performed the change of command from Protzmann to Hutchinson. Protzmann, who retired with 36 years of service, had high praise for her successor.

"History provides us the opportunity (and) leadership provides the momentum to succeed with that opportunity," said Protzmann. "And you Gen. Hutchinson are the leader poised to step this unit through the next yet to be written chapter of our heritage."

Hutchinson thanked Protzmann for her leadership and strength placed within the unit, calling her one of the best leaders he has ever seen in his 30 years of military service.

He said she was the example of service and that others should strive to emulate Protzmann, who he served with as vice wing commander, wing commander and chief of staff.

"She is categorically the best person I have ever served with at building consensus and bringing people together for the good of the organization," said Hutchinson, who served as the 157 wing commander from 2010 to 2014. "We are a better organization for her selfless service and I will personally miss her mentorship her laughter, but most importantly her leadership to the airmen."

After receiving command, Hutchinson spoke to the importance of mentorship and family. He also expressed his gratitude to the Airmen of the 157 ARW.

"I stand before you today humbled and honored to be given the privilege and honor of serving with you," said Hutchinson. "You're reputation is renounced in the U.S. Air Force and you deserve much credit, you are amazing people."

Hutchinson joined the 157th in 1999 and served in numerous capacities of increasing responsibilities.  When speaking of his experiences, Hutchinson credited three rules to success stated by former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz: Always do the right thing, do the best that you can do with the time that you have and treat others as you would want to be treated.

Hutchinson asked Airmen to do their best for themselves and their families. He cited efficiency and innovation as the key to continued success and promised to work hard.

"We have never failed and I am confident in your ability to respond," said Hutchinson. "I will make your families a priority recognizing that we are here to serve."

Following the change of command, Protzmann's retirement ceremony was held and attended by N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Hassan expressed her gratitude to the 157 ARW, and for Protzmann's service and command to the Air Force.

"Throughout your distinguished and decorated military career you have set an example for all of your peers as well as all women who aspire to serve our country," the governor said. "With your experience and through your countless assignments with the NHANG your selfless sacrifices have made our country safer and our freedom stronger.

"We are proud of you, your work and what it says about our great state, thank you."