General Honored for Decades of Service


by Ashley Wright
Air University Public Affairs

11/23/2007 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- The current longest-serving person in the Air Force was inducted into the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Hall's Wall of Achievers during an enlisted academy graduation ceremony in downtown Montgomery recently.

Maj. Gen. Thomas F. Deppe joins more than 140 individuals on the Wall of Achievers. Names like Chuck Norris, Johnny Cash, Brig. Gen. William J. Becker and Maj. Gen. Charles I. Bennett now surround the signed photo of General Deppe.

"[This induction] is beyond my wildest dreams," the general said.

The qualifications for induction state that a person must earn the rank of general officer or be a celebrity and worked as an enlisted member, said Staff Sgt. Rouven Scheurer, Web master for EHH.

General Deppe started his career in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Almost 41 years later, he now serves as the vice commander for the Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colo.

"None of us know where our Air Force careers will take us," he said to the graduates of the NCO Academy where he was guest of honor.

After spending almost 11 years on the enlisted side, General Deppe was commissioned through Officer Training School in 1977. He admits that his original plan was to do four years and then get out; however, things changed after he attended Airmen Leadership School and volunteered to become a recruiter. He realized at this point that the Air Force is about protecting "this great country," General Deppe said.

"My focus has been about the people," he said. "It's the people who win the wars."

< MG Deppe



Maj. Gen. Thomas F. Deppe recently was inducted into the

Air Force Enlisted Heritage Hall's Wall of Achievers. He

was recognized for more than four decades of service during

an NCO Academy graduation at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.,

where he was the guest of honor. (U.S. Air Force photo)



He reminded the graduates that they, as NCOs, must enforce the standards of excellence and shape the perception of the Air Force. The general stressed that Airmen are the most important part of the service, more important than any aircraft. The former staff sergeant said he had a "great appreciation and fondness" for what enlisted members accomplish.

"[The] main message is they are the future of the Air Force," the general said. "What they do will affect the future of the Air Force." 

The General served January 1987 - January 1988, flight commander, 71st Tactical Missile Squadron, Florennes Air Base, Belguim