26th Commander of the 908th ends 34-year military career

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

The 908th Airlift Wing’s 26th commander, Col. Craig Drescher, ended his 34-year military career during a retirement ceremony Saturday September 9, 2023, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Drescher was surrounded by family, friends, and fellow service members for the final event in his illustrious military career.

Drescher entered the military in 1989 when he joined the U.S. Navy through Aviation Officer Candidate School. After serving in seven different assignments covering 15 years, he then joined the Air Force Reserve in 2004 as a traditional reservist. Drescher has extensive command experience at multiple levels as seven of his 12 Air Force assignments have the word commander associated with them, and to further add to his leadership expertise, three of the remaining five assignments have been as an executive officer, a director of operations, and a chief of staff.

The presiding official for the ceremony was retired Maj. Gen. John P. Stokes, a 908th alumnus, and former 22nd Air Force commander, where Drescher was once his chief of staff.

During the ceremony, Stokes talked about some of Drescher’s qualities and traits that made him a great Airman and leader.

“Col. Drescher has always been a great mentor and coach preparing the next generation for the next fight,” explained Stokes.

Stokes then emphasized the difficulty of command.

“People often talk about the burden of command,” said Stokes. “But they don’t understand that it is a weight that commanders wear, and Craig wore it well.”

Stokes then spoke about the purpose of the military and how Drescher excelled in that main purpose.

“The military is a fighting force, explained Stokes. “When our nation calls on us, we must generate that combat capability. Craig has done that throughout his career. He has become a true master at combat generation.”

After Drescher was awarded his final military decoration, a Legion of Merit, he then spoke about the people he has been influenced by.

“I have been surrounded by amazing people accomplishing great things,” said Drescher. “All of you have pulled me up and kept me pushing forward.”

Drescher then closed out the ceremony by thanking all in attendance and expressing his gratitude.

“I am so grateful for everything all of you have done for me throughout my career,” said Drescher. “It has been my honor to serve with you.”