National Guard Col. James “Bob” Stevenson Jr. was promoted to the rank of
brigadier general and assumed the position of assistant adjutant general of the
Nebraska Air National Guard during a promotion and change of command ceremony
conducted Dec. 2 at the Nebraska National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in
the assistant adjutant general for air, Stevenson will now be responsible for
the organization, training and equipage of the Nebraska Air National Guard,
which includes the 155th Air Refueling Wing in Lincoln and the 170th Group at
Offutt Air Force Base.
to his current position, Stevenson served as Nebraska Air National Guard
director of operations within the Nebraska National Guard’s Joint Force
Headquarters. Prior to that, he served as the commander of the 155th Air
Refueling Wing – the second oldest Air National Guard unit in the nation – and
commander of the 170th Group.
Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general, presided over the ceremonies and
spoke on the importance of the promotion and change of command in relation to
the Nebraska Air National Guard’s diverse, worldwide mission.
have no doubt Bob will perform superbly as our next assistant adjutant general
of the Nebraska Air National Guard,” Bohac said. “He’s a great spokesman and
he’s done a number of things nationally already.”
For example, Bohac
said, during Stevenson’s recent tenure as the commander of the 155th Air
Refueling Wing, he maintained an “amazing track record” of accident-free flying
hours during a multi-year era when the unit set numerous annual records for
flying while additionally setting the tone for why safety matters.
“You are the right person at the right time to take the position,” Bohac
Stevenson accepted the flag of command from Brig. Gen.
Keith A. Schell, who had served in the position since
January 2016. Schell is set to retire from the Nebraska Air National Guard in
“Keith served admirably in a variety of positions in the
Nebraska National Guard,” Bohac said. “Without fail he engaged in everything I
asked him to do and engaged in areas where he didn’t need to be told to.”
Most importantly, Bohac said, Schell was a constant
advocate for the Airmen of the Nebraska Air National Guard.
“I am grateful for your service, and on behalf of the
Airmen of the Nebraska Air National Guard, thank you for what you have done,”
In completing his assignment, Schell thanked the members
of the Nebraska Air National Guard for their support, adding that he was
humbled to have been given the chance to lead the Nebraska Air National Guard
as the assistant adjutant general. He said he has confidence that Stevenson is
ready to take the Nebraska Air National Guard to even greater heights.
“To Bob, a friend and hard worker, I look forward to
sitting on the sidelines and watching you do what you do best.”
Stevenson said he appreciates the opportunity to
continue to build upon the work done by Schell and other Nebraska Air Guard
“Brigadier General Schell, thank you for your diligent
and dedicated oversight and concern for the Nebraska Air National Guard during
your incredible career and more specifically in your tenure as the (assistant
adjutant general),” Stevenson said. “I will try to preserve your legacy.”
Stevenson said he was humbled to be taking on his new
title and rank.
“It is a little uncomfortable for the focus to be on me
because why we’re here is really about this organization’s people and the role
that it plays in the defense and stabilization of the nation,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson joined the Guard in 1997 following eight years
in the U.S. Air Force. He has flown more than 4,000 hours and is a veteran of
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that his career and personal life
have shown him the importance mentoring and developing teamwork can have.
“Each one of us can positively encourage and help
others,” he said. “You never know what one little thing you do will make all
the difference that creates your legacy, changes someone else’s life and may
impact families for generations.”