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'Saddle up Sharks;' new commander takes charge

Lt. Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, presents Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander during a change of command ceremony, Aug. 4, 2015, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Changes of command are a military tradition representing the transfer of responsibilities from the presiding officials to the upcoming official. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens) (Released)

Lt. Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, presents Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander during a change of command ceremony, Aug. 4, 2015, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Changes of command are a military tradition representing the transfer of responsibilities from the presiding officials to the upcoming official. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens) (Released)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- "Do, or do not. There is no try."

This was the advice Master Yoda gave to Luke Skywalker before attempting to raise his X-wing Fighter from a swamp on planet Dagobah and in true space fashion, the advice also applies to those who send rockets into outer space. 

Minutes after assuming command, the 45th Space Wing's newest commander, Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, shared this simple yet profound philosophy, which centers on shifting ones focus to the present and also serves as a reminder to commit oneself to something completely, win or lose.  This was the Wing's new charge moving forward.

Lt. Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, presided over the change of command ceremony, Aug. 4, 2015, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

Prior to transitioning the wing to Monteith, Lt. Gen. Raymond thanked the 45th Space Wing, for playing such a vital role in the national security of the United States, responsible for all Department of Defense space and missile launch activity on the East Coast.

"Brig. Gen. Monteith has the leadership, intellect, and operational depth to lead this wing to even greater heights, and I have seen firsthand, the strength of his leadership," said Raymond. "I am confident that the stellar success of the 45th Space Wing will continue to thrive under his leadership."

Upon assuming command, Monteith thanked everyone for attending and said that he and his wife, Gina, are excited to be here in the 'Sunshine State,' specifically on the Space Coast.

He also thanked the members of the community and said, "I look forward to continuing to build on the great relationships that you [the community] have with our wing. I want to personally thank you for taking care of our Total Force Airmen, enlisted, civilian and officer ... I am ready to work with you to tackle the challenges of the future."

He then turned his attention to the women and men of the 45th Space Wing and said during his opening remarks, "I look forward to leading this wing, but more importantly I look forward to serving you."

While he said his last two assignments at the Pentagon were a privilege, he said he couldn't think of any place he would rather be, or any job that he would rather have, than working right here on the Space Coast with such an outstanding team ... Saddle up Sharks!" he said.

Changes of command are a military tradition representing the transfer of responsibilities from the presiding official to the upcoming official. A guidon is exchanged during the change of command as a symbolic gesture providing a tangible view of the command authority being transferred from one commander to the next.