JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. -- Hundreds of service members, civilians, and community members packed Hangar 9 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to honor Col. William "Percy" Percival, the outgoing JBLM Garrison deputy commander and 627th Air Base Group commander at an awards ceremony at McChord Field July 15.

Major General John Gordy II, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, presided over the ceremony.

Service before self, integrity first and excellence in all we do were the three main things that Gordy said summed up Percival's time at JBLM.

"There wasn't a day that Colonel Percival did not come to work and say 'What can I do to make life better, not only for the 62nd Airlift Wing Airmen, but for the Soldiers that reside at Joint Base Lewis-McChord?'" Gordy said. "Joint basing is not easy, but it is very easy to go back to your comfort zone and huddle with the Airmen that you know best. There's no doubt in my mind that Percy crossed to the Army side and went to the Air Force side when he had to. But for 99.9% of the time, he represented the joint base. So to Percy, thank you for your integrity and thank you for instilling that culture of excellence in all we do."

Percival, whose next assignment will be as the chief of safety at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, was then presented the Meritorious Service Medal by Col. Nicole Lucas, JBLM Garrison commander, and the Legion of Merit by Gordy.

Afterwards, Percival then casually strolled across the stage, individually pointing out and thanking each member of his staff, and those who supported him during his time at JBLM. He gave an especially heartfelt thanks to Lucas.

"Colonel Lucas -- you have the most moral courage of any officer I've ever served with," Percival said. "You always did what was right. And that is something that I can't thank you enough for. My only regret is that I couldn't be there for you more as a full-time deputy because of the challenges of the position. We did divide and conquer, and I think we conquered."

Before concluding the ceremony, Percival had a message for the Airmen of the 627th ABG.

"I worked as hard as I could every day with an amazing support staff, an amazing deputy and an amazing chief to earn your respect (and) to earn my keep," Percival said. "All of you will forever be my Airmen and I can only hope I worked hard enough to be yours. This has been a very exciting tour and I can't wait to hear what you guys are going to do next because it's going to be much better and much higher."