JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md - The state command chief master sergeant of the District of Columbia Air National Guard was ceremoniously retired after nearly 30 years of military service at Joint Base Andrews Oct 16.
Chief Master Sgt. Charles C. Gass Jr. grew up in Colton’s Point, Maryland. He entered the Air Force in 1993 and graduated the Air Force Security Police Academy as a law enforcement specialist and was assigned to the 113th Security Forces Squadron where he served in many leadership roles, including manager of the 113th Security Forces, before his appointment to state command chief in 2017.
“Joining the military was a calling,” Gass said. “I wanted to serve my country." He said there is nothing like the brotherhood of the people in the DCANG. “Events such as 9/11 made me realize what a good decision I had made by joining in 1993.”
Gass said he is proud to be associated with the DCANG, whose members are known as the Capital Guardians. In his role as state command chief, he advised the Commanding General, Adjutant General, and Commander, District of Columbia Air National Guard on matters impacting enlisted Airmen including proper utilization of personnel, readiness, enlisted leadership, professional military education, operations tempo and quality of life. He was also responsible for monitoring compliance with Air Force standards, including professional conduct, professional development and physical fitness.
Retired 113th Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Kimberly Turner, summed up the Chief’s tenure while speaking at his retirement ceremony. “If your presence doesn’t make an impact, your absence won’t make a difference,” she said.
During his decades long service, Gass supported Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM, SOUTHERN WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE and IRAQI FREEDOM as well as local domestic operations including four presidential inaugurations, Pope John Paul II visit and various security details involving District and federal jurisdictions.
Being able to make an impact on the lives of Airmen was the reason he accepted the role of state command chief, Gass said. “Airmen are the most vital asset we have in the D.C. Guard. Being able to make a difference for the betterment of the organization, and most importantly, the Airmen, was a rewarding experience.”
The most important piece of advice Gass said he could give to his successor was to take care of the Airmen. “I was proud to wear the uniform and work for the people who matter most—the Airmen.”