Change of command at 62nd Airlift Wing

By Gail Wood on July 17, 2013

Pledging that it will never be "about me," Col. David Kumashiro talked about the power of teamwork Wednesday when he became the new commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing during an hour-long change of command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

In a brief yet poignant 5-minute acceptance speech, Kumashiro pledged to further the rich tradition of the 62nd Airlift Wing.

"It is with faith, courage, passion, patients and humility that I dedicate myself to this great team," Kumashiro said. "This will never be about me. This will always be about us."

Twenty-one years after graduating from the Air Force Academy, Kumashiro, the son of a colonel, replaces Col. Wyn Elder as the commander at McChord for a two-year assignment.

>>> Col. David Kumashiro addressed the crowd during the 62 AW change of command ceremony. Photo credit: Gail Wood

Kumashiro, who has more than 3,400 flying hours in the C-17, C-5A/B and the Predator, is now in command of 2,300 active duty military and civilian personal, along with 48 C-17s.

With a C-17 airplane as the backdrop, Kumashiro thanked his family and friends for their support during his career.

"No one does this alone," Kumashiro said. "I'd not have been given this opportunity if it were not for the love, support and encouragement of my entire family, friends and a host of dedicated and very visioned commanders, teachers and mentors."

Prior to his JBLM promotion, Kumashiro was the Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell at the Pentagon. 

"You're going to love this guy," Elder said. "He's a servant's leader."   

"He's the ideal choice," Lt. Gen. Darren McDew said. "This is a great day for this base."

In Elder's farewell remarks, he became emotional when he talked about his children. After he said, "Finally, to my kids," Elder paused several minutes to regain his composure and then said, "We're going to have more time together, starting with 3,000 miles in a car."

Elder is taking a family car trip across the country before starting his next assignment with the Pentagon.

Then in closing Elder, addressing the 62nd Wing, said, "What you do matters."