908th Maintenance Squadron Welcomes New Commander

  • Published
  • By Bradley J. Clark
  • 908th Airlift Wing

The Commander of the 908th Maintenance Group, Lt. Col. Stuart Martin, bestowed command of the 908th Maintenance Squadron to Capt. Toderick Burks during an Assumption of Command ceremony, Jan. 8, 2022, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Burks previously served as the operations officer for the 908 MXS since December 2018 where he led, trained, and equipped more than 125 personnel supporting aerospace equipment in 12 separate Air Force Specialty Codes supporting eight C-130H aircraft and associated equipment.

During the ceremony, Martin talked about what Burks will face.

“Our wing has some formidable challenges ahead with the remission. Col. Drescher has said numerous times that, ‘this is one of the toughest remissions the Air Force has ever done’. Going from an operational mission to a training mission will bring new challenges, I am confident you [Burks] are the right person to lead the maintenance squadron thru these challenges.”

Martin then went on to highlight the vital role the 908 MXS has in the wing.

“Every single squadron has a role to play in the 908th for wing success,” explained Martin. “Through support from the [Mission Support Group], from medical to ops, however when the rubber meets the road, that is through sortie production, and that is what the MXS directly supports. Captain, you already know you have a great team of [senior noncommissioned officers] in the MXS, now its time for you to take the guidon and lead and make it better.”

After Burks assumed command by receiving the unit guidon from Martin, Burks spoke about the great privilege it is to command.

“Lt. Col. Martin, thank you for the opportunity to lead the 908th Maintenance Squadron,” said Burks. “I’m truly humbled and honored that you have entrusted me to lead the men and women of this great squadron.”

After thanking family, friends, and mentors for getting him to this point in his career, Burks turned his focus to the task at hand, commanding a squadron through change.

“The privilege of commanding an Air Force squadron, despite its heavy responsibilities and unrelenting challenges, represents for many Air Force officers the high point of their careers, I’m certain my experience will be no different,” proclaimed Burks. “…We are smack dab in the middle of new … changes, first of its kind in the Air Force which has come with some difficult challenges. When confronted with those challenges and others, I’m reminded of Col Drescher’s often quoted position, if it were easy, they would have given it to someone else.”

Burks closed with his three points of focus for the squadron’s future success.

“I would like to leave you with three things,” said Burks. “First, always remember the honor and privilege it is that we get to serve and don this uniform, often when you get to do something for a while it is easy to take it for granted. Never let it be lost on you what we get to do for our great country. Secondly, be ready! Be medically ready, physically fit, and proficient in your job, embrace a culture of accountability. As professionals we owe it to one another to ensure readiness and to be resilient and ready to answer the call to fight. Lastly, remember the only constant is change. Transforming for the future means we must continue to strive for and embrace new tools and processes to remain adaptive to our everchanging threats. … I’m excited about our future, 908th Maintenance Squadron, let’s get to work.”

Burks first joined the military in Sept. 2003, when he enlisted in to the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard as a logistician, where he served in that position until Oct. 2013. He then commissioned as a maintenance officer in the 187 FW. Before joining the 908th, Burks served as an operations officer with the 803rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 403rd Maintenance Squadron, both part of the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi.