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News | Nov. 20, 2023

115th Fighter Wing welcomes new Senior Enlisted Leader

By Staff Sgt. Anya Hanson 115th Fighter Wing

The Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing formally welcomed Chief Master Sgt. Michael Alvarez as the unit’s eighth command chief master sergeant during a change of authority ceremony at Truax Field Nov. 4.

The change of authority preceded the retirement of outgoing Command Chief Master Sgt. Brian Carroll, who served as the unit’s senior enlisted leader since December 2020.

“Over the past years, Chief Carroll was entrusted with the critical task of helping to inspire, enhance and ensure the legacy of the F-35 conversion at our wing,” said Col. Bart Van Roo, the 115th Fighter Wing commander. “While Chief Carroll’s unique leadership and credibility was the perfect balance for the challenges that time presented, we wish him the best in retirement and believe Chief Alvarez is the right senior enlisted leader to lead us into the significant worldwide challenges we face today.”

Prior to assuming the command chief role, Alvarez spent nearly 20 years at the 115th Fighter Wing as a traditional guardsman assigned to the 115th Security Forces Squadron where he served as fire team member and security forces chief before transitioning to the role of 115th Mission Support Group chief.

Outside of his National Guard duties, Alvarez obtained a master’s degree in education, spent nine years as an English teacher and became a police officer for the city of Madison where he was the sergeant of police and SWAT sniper team lead.

“Your background in education comes at a time when all Airmen are being required to learn a new airframe, change their behaviors and take on new tasks,” said Carroll. “Your ability to motivate and encourage our Airmen to overcome these challenges will be essential in the way we fight future conflicts.”

According to Alvarez, that’s now more pertinent than ever given the constantly changing worldwide threats and resulting need for all Airmen to adapt and learn quickly.

“We must build Airmen that are technologically skilled, analogically capable, aggressively innovative and warrior minded,” said Alvarez. “We are the right people, in the right time, at the right place; and when the time comes for the premier fifth-generation fighter wing to stand at the edge of the fight, may we all be ripping at our holds, toes digging into the ground, eager to engage.”