Chief Master Sgt. Hector I. Garcia is the command chief master sergeant for the 156th Wing at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Carolina, Puerto Rico. As command chief, he is a member of the wing staff and performs duties at the command level. Chief Garcia is the senior enlisted leader and is responsible for advising commanders and staff on mission effectiveness, professional development, military readiness, training, utilization, health, morale, and welfare of the wing’s enlisted Airmen. He ensures the
management of personnel and resources are consistent with current practices and procedures in support of the mission. Chief Garcia also assists the wing commander in executing the charge of leading units in combat and contingency operations.
Chief Garcia began his military career in August 1987 and attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, with follow-on training as a vehicle operator journeyman. In 1989 he served on the 24th Transportation Squadron at Howard AFB in Panama during Operation JUST CAUSE. In 1993 he became a C-130 aircraft loadmaster with the 41st Airlift Squadron at Pope AFB, N.C. In 1995 he joined the 156th Airlift Wing, Puerto Rico Air National Guard. He has participated in operations JUST CAUSE, NIMROD DANCER, DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, PROVIDE COMFORT, PROVIDE PROMISE, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, and operation ENDURING FREEDOM. During these operations, Chief Garcia helped in the planning, support, execution and delivery of humanitarian passengers and cargo to numerous countries to include Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sarajevo. He provided transportation support for the movement of the troops and cargo during Operation NIMROD DANCER in Panama. For his bilingual skills, he was hand-selected to transport foreign dignitaries during visits to Howard AFB. His contribution was instrumental in building a forward operating base during OEF, Afghanistan. Additionally, he has participated in civilian humanitarian relief missions in support of earthquake and hurricane disasters. He supported missions of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance for the U.S. Southern Command. In September 2017, he was instrumental for base recovery and flight operations after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico.
1990 Noncommissioned Officer Preparatory Military Course, Howard Air Force Base, Panama
2000 Noncommissioned Officer Academy
2001 Associate of Applied Science, Aviation Operations, Community College of the Air Force Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2005 Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center - Crew Course, St. Joseph Mo., Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
2006 Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
2008 USAF Senior Noncommissioned Academy
2009 Hazardous Material Technical Specialist Course
2010 Specialized Survival for Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations Personnel
2014 Chief Executive Leadership Course, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
2019 Command Chief Training Course, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
1. October 1987 – March 1989, Vehicle Operator Dispatcher, 37th Transportation Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
2. March 1989 – August 1991 Vehicle Operator Dispatcher, 24th Transportation Squadron, Howard AFB, Panama
3. August 1991 – August 1993, Vehicle Operator Dispatcher, 435th Transportation Squadron, Rhein Main AFB, Germany
4. August 1993 – December 1994, Aircraft Loadmaster, 40th Airlift Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
5. March 1995 – October 1998, Vehicle Operator Dispatcher, 156th Airlift Wing, Muñiz ANGB, Carolina, Puerto Rico
6. October 1998 – February 2009, Aircraft Loadmaster, 198th Airlift Squadron, Muñiz ANGB, Carolina, Puerto Rico
7. February 2009 – December 2013, Loadmaster Chief Enlisted Manager, 198th Airlift Squadron, Muñiz ANGB, Carolina, Puerto Rico
8. December 2013 – September 2019, Operations Superintendent, 156th Operations Group, Muñiz ANGB, Carolina, Puerto Rico
9. September 2019 – Present, Wing Command Chief, 156th Wing, Muñiz ANGB, Carolina, Puerto Rico
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Good Conduct Medal with oak leaf clusters
Air Force Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leave clusters
National Defense Silver Medal with oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device
STATE AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Puerto Rico National Guard Service Medal
Puerto Rico National Guard Exemplary Conduct Ribbon
Puerto Rico National Guard Hurricane Georges Ribbon
Puerto Rico National Guard Active Duty for Training Ribbon
1990 Transportation Professional of the Year, 24th Transportation Squadron
1992 Transportation Airman of the Year, 435th Airlift Squadron
2013 Safety Award of the Year, 156th Airlift Wing
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman First Class June 19, 1988
Senior Airman Aug. 19, 1990
Staff Sergeant Oct. 13, 1993
Technical Sergeant May 15, 1998
Master Sergeant Feb. 11, 2001
Senior Master Sergeant April 17, 2009
Chief Master Sergeant Dec. 6, 2013
(Current as of October 2021)