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Story by: Major Patrick Cordova - 105th Airlift Wing
Dated: Mon, Apr 4, 2016
STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, NY. Colonel Timothy J. LaBarge, Commander of the 105th Airlift Wing in Newburgh, New York was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony, complete with an honor guard and a trio of talented singers, held in the unit’s largest hangar.
“Tim was my vice commander at Schenectady, and he did a great job there”, said Major General Anthony P. German, Commander of the New York Air National Guard and presenter at the ceremony. Brig. Gen. LaBarge’s list of accomplishments during his tenure as a wing commander, from 2012 until the present, is exhaustive, German said.
During this period, he was directly involved with the unit’s conversion from the C-5A “Galaxy” to the C-17 “Globemaster III” aircraft; and the conversion of the unit’s 74 member Security Forces Squadron to a 291 member Base Defense Squadron.
He organized, trained and equipped the organic C-5M refurbishment facility ensuring that the ground breaking depot level enterprise would continue, as well as while preserving 30 full time employment authorizations. Instituted a multi-level mentoring program at the 105th to include a Leadership Empowerment and Development (LEAD) program and a Speed mentoring program ensuring that airmen and women at all stages of their career are educated and empowered to succeed.
Under his leadership the unit won the National Guard Association of the United State Metcalf Award for the “Best Airlift or Air Refueling Wing in the Air National Guard for 2013”. The 105th Airlift Wing won this award while the unit was still in conversion status from the C-5 to the C-17.
“Tim is a leader”, said Maj. Gen. German. “He has done all the things that we in the state of New York have asked. “He was a guardsman for a long time. He’s come and worked at the state headquarters. He’s worked down in Washington, DC. He came to Schenectady. Then he came to Newburgh.”
Brigadier General, denoted with a single star on each epaulet, is the first General Officer rank of the United States Air Force.
Promotion to Brigadier General is a lengthy process. It begins with a board of general officers creating a list of candidates for promotion. This list is then channeled through the chain of command (including the joint chiefs and the Secretary of Defense) for review and ends with the President choosing those to be promoted from that pool.
“It is important to note that promotions like this are not about past performance”, Brig. Gen. LaBarge said. “However, my performance as a commander and, more importantly, our collective performance as an organization are, in fact, subject to scrutiny. Because, it can be an indication as to whether or not you are ready for an increase in responsibility. So, having said that, I will tell you that I do thank every single person in this room for positioning me for this promotion; because this has been all you,” LaBarge told the Airmen.