Indiana Air National Guard welcomes a new state command chief

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FORT WAYNE — Indiana Air National Guard welcomed a new state command chief during a ceremony at the 122nd Fighter Wing headquarters Jan. 12.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael C. May, a current resident of Fairview, Tennessee, has been appointed as the new state command chief for the Indiana Air National Guard. He will take the reins from Chief Master Sgt. James E. Salway, who served in the position for more than five years. The state command chief is the senior enlisted member and is responsible for all affairs concerning the enlisted airmen across the state.

“I’m humbled and honored beyond words to be entrusted the responsibilities of this highly important position,” said May. “I personally cherish the rich heritage and proud identities of each wing, as I’ve had the distinct honor of living them both.”

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May’s Hoosier ties take him back to South Bend where he attended John Adams High School. He began his military career in 1992. He has served in a variety of positions throughout his career, including 16 years as a munitions systems specialist before becoming the initially selected first sergeant of the newly activated 137th Intelligence Squadron. He deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to representing all Air Guardsmen in the state, he served as the Wing Command Chief for the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne.

“Chief Master Sgt May has served in both the 181st and the 122nd. His breath and depth of experience will be highly beneficial in leading the enlisted corps of Indiana and the value of his mentorship to the enlisted and officer airmen of our state will be immeasurable,” said Brig. Gen. Larry K. Clark, Indiana’s Air National Guard commander. “He is committed, engaging and personifies what it means to be a servant leaders and we are so blessed to have him as the Indiana Air National Guard state command chief.”

The 181st Intelligence Wing airmen, also known as Racers, in Terre Haute and the 122nd Fighter Wing airmen, also known as Blacksnakes, in Fort Wayne is comprised of nearly 2,000 citizen airmen. The mission at both wings support contingencies around the world while ensuring readiness to support the local communities and Indiana.

“I will always be a Blacksnake, and I will always be a Racer,” said May. “I now look forward to serving all the airmen of this great state.”