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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | Jan. 29, 2013

Airman plays pivotal role in Chief's ceremony

By Staff Sgt. Torey Griffith 11th Wing Public Affairs

She was a statue. With eyes fixed forward, weapon perfectly presented, she stood motionless as the Air Force's top commissioned, enlisted and civilian leaders passed mere inches from her view.

Airman 1st Class Krystal Chase, a Smyrna, Del. native, is a ceremonial guardsman in the United States Air Force Honor Guard stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, D.C. For nearly two years now, she has been involved in many of these types of events. Most recently, she was a part of the transition ceremony for the 17th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody at Hangar Three here Jan. 24, 2013.

"It's humbling to be a part of important events like the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force transition," said Chase, who was a member of the honor cordon which lined the red carpet the official party walked down to take the stage. "This affects the entire Air Force, and I was able to see our top leaders up close."

Despite her close proximity and plenty of temptation, Chase kept her gaze fixed as the official party passed by.

"It's so hard not to look," she said. "But that's our job - head and eyes straight forward - I only get a second to see who is walking by."

Maintaining impeccable bearing during high-profile events is one of the challenges that come with the job.

"Honestly, I really have to focus," said Chase. "Sometimes it can be nerve racking to get 'locked on' when there are people and cameras everywhere. You always want to look absolutely perfect. "

Perfection is the standard for ceremonial guardsmen, and Chase said they practice each movement they make - or don't make - day in and day out. This vigilance is how these members of the 11th Wing fulfill their mission to represent all Airmen, past and present to the American public and the world.

"When we display excellence in all we do, it has a global impact," Chase said. "The honor guard sets the standard and we portray that every day. Through our sharp uniforms and precise performance, we want to inspire every Airman to be their best."