Air National Guard Commander To Retire

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt Jack West
  • 134ARW/PA
The 134th Air Refueling Wing and the tenant units of the McGhee Tyson ANGB held a joint commanders call on Feb. 5, to recognize the accomplishments of and to say thank you to Tennessee National Guard Assistant Adjutant General (Air) Maj. Gen. William R. Cotney.
Cotney is retiring with almost 40 years of military service. During his career, he has amassed more than 10,000 flying hours in the C-7, C-130, and C-141 aircraft. He was the commander of the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis before being appointed to his current position in April 2003. During Operation Enduring Freedom, Cotney served in an activated status for 12 months in Germany, executing the European Strategic Intratheater Deployment Mission resupplying the Middle East Area of Operations.
134 ARW Wing Commander Timothy Dearing, had great words of praise for Cotney's leadership during the 2005 Defense Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission proceedings.

He brought us through BRAC, said Dearing. "Not only did we make it, but because of General Cotney's leadership, we excelled. We have more planes, more buildings, and a bigger ramp. Thank you for your leadership."

Cotney expressed his appreciation to those present for the work that was accomplished during his tenure as commander of the Tennessee Air National Guard.
I wish I could take credit for all the things Colonel Dearing mentioned, said Cotney. We have been so blessed over the last 10 years to have good political leaders that support us. The facilities here are second to none. "I want to thank you for allowing me to work with you."

Col. David Evans, commander of the 219th Command and Control Group, had nothing but praise for Cotney.  "He is the best supervisor I have ever served under," said Evans. "He is a supervisor and a leader that allows you to go forth and execute his command intent without micro-managing. He is a supervisor that has your back every time you step forward as long as you are exercising his command intent. He has been a tremendous role model for me and a lot of our officers and enlisted here in the state of Tennessee.