Major move gives 'hope' to Pope

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jay Ponder
  • 908th Airlift Wing
As service members grow within their military careers, opportunities open up, careers change and like any family, sometimes departures are necessary. The 908th Airlift Wing will be saying goodbye to a good friend and officer with the departure of Maj. Hope Norton, mission support group exec.

Norton, who has been with the wing for six years, is heading back to her home in North Carolina to serve as the executive officer for the 448th Maintenance Group at Pope Army Air Field.

"It will be a good opportunity and experience for me," said Norton, "and you know when God opens the door for you; you've got to walk through it."

Norton explained how it was an ART position that popped up, which also benefited her family.

Col. Pete Peterson, commander of the 908th MSG, said Norton has been doing a great job working for the MSG and the entire wing. "She's been involved in everything from UCIs to ORIs; she's been involved in everything. She has a lot of professional knowledge and that's what I'm going to miss. She's 'Miss MSG'."

Norton, who was prior enlisted for 10 years has been in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve for over 20 years. She explained after 14 years in the active duty Air Force, she was ready to leave but had made some friends here in the 908th who said, 'that's a lot of time you have invested, don't walk away from that, come into the reserves and finish up your time.'
And as the MSG knows, it was beneficial for everyone. Norton's performance was noted as the officer overseeing the Reserve Deployment Readiness Cell, a position that coordinates deployments. 908th Col. Brett Clark, 908th Airlift Wing Commander, described Norton as dedicated and professional and with her leaving, it would open an incredible void. "It doesn't matter what she's doing," said Clark, "she gives a 100 percent effort. I can't tell you how much it concerns me to see a great officer like this move on to another assignment. I wish her all the luck, because she is a first-class airman who has unlimited potential."

"As the deployment readiness officer, you're a jack of all trades, it's a tough job," said Norton. She explained how she tracked deployments in the system ensuring the logistics were complete to get people from point A to B. Sometimes, she explained, it was the minor details like making sure folks had completed their training. Other details were ensuring members deploying had everything they needed, were aware of what they needed to do, had all the equipment they would need and getting them on the aircraft and to their deployment location on time.

"It's a 24/7, no-kidding involvement in this process," said Norton, "and if we don't ensure the people have what they need, whether it's clothing items, their weapons or some special piece of equipment they're supposed to take with them, it will have an impact on the mission in-theatre."

In regard to her management style, she referred to a favorite quote, "What you do in this life, it vibrates throughout eternity, what we do and how we treat people."

"You know," she said, "I think I made an impact on people in a positive way and that makes me feel good because they'll turn around and pay it forward by doing the same thing."
As she is leaving, Norton wants 908th Airmen to know the varied jobs they do, matter and what they do is just as important to the 908th mission as any other job within the wing. Norton was adamant saying, "Whether it's the airman sitting at a computer who is cutting orders, a chief on the flight line, or an officer directing operations, they're just as important as anyone else and don't let anyone ever tell them or make them feel otherwise."

Col. Peterson closed by referring to her new assignment.

"We know she's going to do well." And in regard to the 908th MSG," he said, "there's still hope for us when Hope is gone."