517th Change of Command
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Air Force Col. Thomas W. Geary, Air Force Col. William T. Bare and Air Force Col. Laura M. Ryan render a salute during the posting of the colors for the change-of-command at the Presidio of Monterey June 9.

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Members of the Air Force’s 517th Training Group said goodbye to one commander and welcomed a new commander during a formal change-of-command ceremony at the Presidio of Monterey June 9.

The organization bid farewell to Air Force Col. William T. Bare and welcomed Air Force Lt. Col. Laura M. Ryan during the event at Soldier Field.

During the ceremony, U.S. Air Force Col. Thomas W. Geary, commander, 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, said this change of command was about recognizing terrific leaders.

Geary, who presided over the ceremony, noted it must be difficult for Bare to leave two great organizations: the 517th Training Group and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

Bare has been an outstanding commander and assistant commandant, he said. “You have touched the lives of so many folks the past three years. You have done a remarkable job providing the foundation not only for the airman, but for Army, Marines and Navy service members as well to succeed. You will be missed. Truly missed.”

“What a journey this has been,” Bare said of his most recent three years at the Presidio.
Bare arrived to the Presidio in June 2008 and assumed duties as assistant commandant of the DLIFLC. Then, in May 2009, took command of the newly formed 517th Training Group.

The need to stand up a new squadron and new group was seen by higher headquarters, Bare explained. “We did it for the benefit of the airman, … this joint school, this Department of Defense world-wide mission and this global endeavor.”

As the second commander of the organization, Ryan said she is up to the challenge of leading the group. “I’m … humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to lead this great organization forward.”

Ryan is a career intelligence officer with a vast background in Joint/Combined Human Intelligence strategic debriefing and interrogation collection and instruction as well as other intelligence and information areas. She was previously assigned as the deputy chief of Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Division, Directorate for Joint Force Development, J-7, Joint Staff, at the Pentagon.

In departing, Bare shared some advice with the junior airmen via a fond quote: Don’t judge yourself by the rank on your sleeve or by the awards on your wall, but judge yourself by the difference you make every day.

Page last updated Thu June 23rd, 2011 at 00:00