30 years of flying: Col. DeVere retires

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Tiffany Lundberg
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

After 30 years of Air Force and Air Force Reserve service, Col. James DeVere, former 302nd Airlift Wing commander, retired, Aug. 1, 2020, here.

Col. Kandace Steinbrink, U.S. Space Command Human Capital deputy director, and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Edward Strickland were the presiding officers at the ceremony. Also in attendance were his wife, Jane, his daughters, Emily and Jesica, along with other family members, friends and mentors.

DeVere commissioned into the Air Force in May, 1990, and in June, 1991, he started his career as a C-130 Hercules pilot at the 327th Airlift Squadron in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. In June, 1995, he transitioned into an Air Reserve Technician position as an instructor pilot at the 327 AS. During his career he has deployed in support of Operations Volant Oak, Restore Hope, Coronet Oak, Uphold Democracy, Provide Comfort II, Noble Eagle, Joint Forge, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

“No one makes it 30 years without mentorship,” said DeVere.

DeVere listed his mentors starting from the beginning of his career in Willow Grove with his recruiter through his last assignment as the 302 AW commander along with examples of how they impacted him. Their impacts ranged from lessons learned to words of wisdom. One of the moments was when a mentor pulled him through one of his toughest parts of his career when he ran into a maintenance stand and thought he would never fly again. However, he pulled through and kept flying due the mentorship from his leaders at the time.

“I appreciate everyone’s support to my military service. It was truly an honor to serve,” said DeVere. “The Air Force has provided me with skills I would not have ever received elsewhere. Most importantly, the Air Force made me a leader and substantially better person always being positive, an optimist, and proud to serve.”

Lastly, he thanked his family for their 26 years of support through moving them around and missed events in their lives. During the ceremony he presented gifts and flowers to his family to thank them.

“The most memorable thing in my career is I chose the Air Force because I wanted to fly airplanes and I still love to fly airplanes but building the relationships with the Airmen is what became the best part of my Air Force career,” said DeVere.