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Two Medical Group troops make chief

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Tears of joy ran down Marcie Blake's cheeks Wednesday morning as her husband, Senior Master Sgt. Larry Blake, walked into a crowded room at the base Medical Clinic and was told by Lt. Col. Jay Burks he'd been selected for promotion to chief master sergeant.

The Blakes, Tyler, Texas, natives, have been married for 21 years, 19 of which have been spent in the Air Force. When Chief (select) Blake addressed the gathering he said, "This has been a goal of mine for a long time."

"Ours!" Mrs. Blake interrupted with a smile between her tears. "Ours!"

"Oh yeah, 'ours' that's what I meant to say," said Chief (select) Blake. "All of the hard work and studying and schools have paid off. Marcie and the kids (sons Brandon and Jared) have been with me and supported me every step of the way."

Mrs. Blake added that the running joke around their household has been that she and their sons can't friends over because "Dad" is always studying. "I married a wonderful man who is an achiever. Everything he's ever done has been for our family," she said. "Our entire family shares in this promotion."

Chief (select) Blake wasn't the only 45th MDG member who made chief. Senior Master Sgt. Mary Hagans also made it. She's on TDY to San Antonio and couldn't participate in Wednesday's promotion festivities.

"Chief (select) Hagans is a fantastic leader who develops the force by pushing her people forward. She's the biggest team player in her squadron. I don't think the words 'no' or 'can't' are in her vocabulary," said Master Sgt. Jeff Lizak, 45th MDG first sergeant.

The fact that both of the 45th Space Wing's chief master sergeant selects are members of the 45th MDG is a source of pride for Chief Master Sgt. Bill Yagatich, 45th MDG superintendent. "These promotions speak volumes for the quality of personnel we have here in the Medical Group," he said.

Col. Florence Valley, commander of the 45th MDG, seconded that by saying, "That's how we roll!"