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NEWS | Nov. 22, 2023

Gregory concludes four decades of military service

By Phil Speck 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Danny L. Gregory, senior enlisted leader for the 165th Airlift Squadron’s Flight Engineer Section, retired from military service during a ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here Sept. 9, ending a career spanning more than 40 years.

Lt. Col. Randall Hood, deputy commander of the 165th Airlift Squadron, celebrated Gregory’s character during the ceremony, attended by an audience of friends, family and fellow Airmen.

“Those of us that have served with Danny know that he is selfless and cares deeply for people and the organization,” Hood said. “He is a man of great integrity, loyalty and passion. His family’s history of military service has ingrained in him the highest caliber of character that personifies our core values.”

Gregory entered the United States Navy’s Delayed Entry Program in 1981, and left for basic training in 1982. After graduation, he attended Aviation Structural Mechanic School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Millington, Tenn. He was then assigned to Attack Squadron 12 at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Fla., as part of Carrier Air Wing 7 on the Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69.

After re-enlisting in April 1986, he reported to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron One at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida. There, he was assigned to the Airframes Center, maintaining H-3 Sea King helicopters. He also supported numerous detachments to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center for anti-submarine training and deployed twice to the Caribbean for drug interdiction aboard the USS Comte De Grasse and USS Deyo.

After leaving active duty, Chief Gregory worked for United Airlines as an aircraft mechanic while serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve, performing maintenance on A-6E Intruders at Naval Air Station Alameda in California.

After a two-year break, he joined the California Air National Guard as a structures mechanic. He returned home to Kentucky in 1994 and served a short stint in the Kentucky Army National Guard before transferring to the Kentucky Air National Guard as a C-130 Flight Engineer.

While assigned here, he served in operations in Kosovo, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and several other humanitarian missions.

Gregory was hired as a full-time technician in 2003 and held every position in the Flight Engineer Section, including current operations, aircrew scheduling, standardization/evaluation and flight engineer scheduler.

At the ceremony’s close, Gregory reflected on his time with the unit, and spoke to all the Airmen in the audience about taking care of each other.

“The greatest service you can offer your country while wearing the uniform is to keep yourself and those around you in a healthy state of being,” Gregory said.

“Keep in mind that it’s important not just for you, but for the people in your personal life, your family and friends, that you’re healthy. If the call to deploy to a troubled place in the world comes, you and your fellow Airmen, your teammates, are prepared in every way to meet whatever challenges come with that.”

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