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AFGSC honors Gen. Tim Ray with Order of the Sword

  • Published
  • By Carla Pampe
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

Gen. (Ret.) Tim Ray, former commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, received the Order of the Sword during an official ceremony here May 11 for his significant contributions to the development of the Air Force enlisted force during his time at the command.

“The Order of the Sword is the highest honor and tribute the Air Force enlisted corps can bestow upon an individual,” said Chief Master Sergeant Melvina Smith, AFGSC command chief. “During his time as the commander of AFGSC, General Ray worked to build a unique Striker Culture, and to better the enlisted force with programs like Striker Stripe.”

Officers selected to receive the Order of the Sword have gone through a rigorous selection process. Ray served on active duty for more than 35 years, with his final assignment being the AFGSC commander before retiring in 2021.

“I am truly humbled by this great honor,” Ray said. “The enlisted members of our United States Air Force are the envy of every military in the world, and I’m so grateful to have served with such incredible enlisted leaders throughout my career.”

The Order of the Sword was established by the Air Force enlisted force to recognize and honor senior officers for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the Air Force enlisted force, mission effectiveness and overall military establishment.

An early known instance of its use was in the 1860s when Gen. Robert E. Lee was presented a sword by his command. The Order of the Sword ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the NCOs of the United States Air Force in 1967.

“Whether it is our bomber, missile or helicopter maintainers, our Security Forces Airmen, our chefs, finance, etc., our enlisted force serves as the backbone of the nuclear deterrence mission, and we could not accomplish that mission without you,” Ray said. “I am incredibly grateful to have served with such an outstanding enlisted force during my time in the Air Force and at Air Force Global Strike Command.”