176 Medical Group gains new leader as former commander retires

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger
  • 176 Wing
Alaska Air National Guard's medical group members welcomed their new commander and bid farewell to their retiring commander here Jan. 12, 2013.

Lt. Col. Sharolyn Lange, commander of the medical group, prepared for her new opportunity following the mentorship of newly-retired Col. Ronald Kichura.

The combined change-of-command and retirement ceremony signified the closing of one chapter and the opening of another.

"This ceremony gives us a chance to publicly thank Col. Kichura for his leadership and service," Lange said. "At this moment, I will assume command and I offer you my finest gift - fidelity."

From February 2007, Kichura served as commander and one of the wing's optometrists. He left the Air Guard to pursue his lifelong passions of music and family time.

"I feel like I left the unit better than I found it," Kichura said. "It's the right time. You've got to know the right time to go."

Col. Donald S. Wenke, 176 Wing commander, who officiated the ceremony.

"I have great trust that Lt. Col. Lange will lead our medical group with respect for all Airmen and guide them according to the Air Force core values," said Wenke. "She has big shoes to fill with Col. Kichura's departure and more than five years of an extremely successful command, but I have faith in her."