Chief Msgt Sterling Retires Following 38 Years of Service

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By Tammy Moore Teague

Chief Master Sergeant Larry Wayne Sterling, 56, of Mansfield has spent the last 38 years serving his country, proudly and faithfully. On December 31, Chief Sterling will retire from the United States Air Force.

Chief Sterling and his wife Anna have been married 14 years. He has two children, Tara Mort and Nathan Sterling and three grandchildren. Currently, he serves as Squadron Superintendent of the 288th Operations Support Squadron, Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, AR.

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Chief Sterling enlisted in the Air Force on August 27, 1980. He served his first four years on active duty as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialists, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, NV (1980-1984.) After active duty, he enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard, 188th Fighter Wing in December 1984. He served as an Air Guard Technician for 34 years as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialists, loading munitions on the F-4C, F-16A, F-16C, A-10A and A-10C aircraft with multiple deployments supporting the Global War on Terrorism.

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Chief Sterling deployed to Aviano, Italy (1996), Balad Air Base, Iraq (2005), Kandahar Air Base Afghanistan (2010), and Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan (2012), supporting Operations Decisive Endeavor, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Freedom Sentinel. He was the Wing Weapons Manager for the 188th Fighter Wing from 2011-2014, where he was the focal point for all weapon systems residing at the 188th Wing. Chief Sterling cross-trained into the Geospatial Analyst career field in 2014 and graduated from Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, where he received the honor of “Outstanding Contributor” of his class. He finished his 38 year career with the 288th Operations Support Squadron.

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“I have many proud moments in the military but being promoted to the highest enlisted grade 9 Chief Master Sergeant is one of my proudest moments,” added Chief Sterling.

He said the desire to serve his country is the reason he dedicated so many years to the Air Force. “There is a sense of pride and accomplishment,” said Chief Sterling. “If you have never served in the military, you can’t understand the feeling, the true sense of pride, when you return from a long deployment and people in the airport stand and clap and thank you for your service. It’s very meaningful.”

His wife and family are very proud of his military time and service. His wife commented: “I couldn’t be more proud of his dedication and hard work to his country and family.”


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The decorated Chief Master Sergeant has received the following awards and decorations:

  1. Meritorious Service Medal
  2. Air Force Commendation Medal
  3. Air Force Achievement Medal
  4. Meritorious Unit Award
  5. AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device
  6. AF Good Conduct Medal
  7. Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal
  8. National Defense Service Medal
  9. Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  10. Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  11. Iraq Campaign Medal
  12. Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  13. Armed Forces Service Medal
  14. Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
  15. AF Overseas Ribbon Short
  16. Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
  17. AF Longevity Service
  18. Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 5 “M” Devices
  19. USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon
  20. Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Rifle)
  21. AF Training Ribbon
  22. NATO Medal
  23. Arkansas Federal Service Ribbon
  24. Arkansas Service Ribbon


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He admits that he will miss the people he works with, as he considers them a “second family.” Following retirement, he plans to spend a lot of time with his family and with his grandchildren. We thank you Msgt Sterling for your years of service and dedication to our country!

 

 

 

 

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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