SOC commander takes helm of Holm Center
Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Allen Peck (left) presided over the Holm Center change of command ceremony recently. Col. Roger Watkins (second from right) assumed command from Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric. (right) (Air Force photo/Melanie Rodgers Cox)
by Carl Bergquist
10/22/2010 - Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala --
Command of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development has been handed to Col. Roger Watkins by Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric.
Colonel Watkins is no stranger to Maxwell Air Force Base, having graduated from Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. He comes to the Holm Center from his previous assignment as Commander of the Squadron Officer College. He said he and his wife, Leslie, are looking forward to new challenges at the Holm Center.
General Djuric will be moving to Washington for an assignment at the Pentagon in the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
During the ceremony, General Djuric was awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of her superlative performance while in command of the Holm Center since June 2008.
Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Allen Peck, who presided over the change of command ceremony Oct. 14, said General Djuric "led the Holm Center to new heights, and she will excel in her new capacity at the Pentagon."
He also said he is confident Colonel Watkins will do well at the Holm Center.
"He will be charged with developing new Air Force officers and citizens of character," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the Holm Center thrive under Colonel Watkins' leadership."
Colonel Watkins thanked General Peck for his trust and confidence in giving the colonel command of "this outstanding organization." He said he was "extremely excited" to lead the Holm Center, which instills Air Force core values into each and every member who trains there.
"I feel it is a tremendous responsibility because our nation's parents entrust the lives of their most precious resource, their sons and daughters, to our care, and we must prepare them to be warrior Airmen," Colonel Watkins said.
The colonel said Maxwell is the hub of Air Force education, and he was looking forward to learning about Officer Training School, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, Junior ROTC, and Civil Air Patrol programs.
"In this day and age of scarce and precious resources, it is going to be a great challenge to make the Holm Center efficient and effective so we can continue to produce those 3,000-plus officers each year," he said. "That is a need that is not going to go away."
Colonel Watkins graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 with a degree in mathematics and in 1986 was commissioned through OTS before being sent to Vance Air Force Base, Okla., for undergraduate pilot training. He has seen duty in a variety of flying assignments, including air refueling and undergraduate pilot training squadrons.
Colonel Watkins has served as a flight commander, assistant operations officer, wing chief of safety, an air refueling squadron commander, vice wing and wing commander.
Among his many decorations, the colonel is the recipient of the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.