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A Legend Retires

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jonathan Russell
  • 117th ARW
The first non-prior female to enlist in the Alabama Air National Guard, Senior Master Sgt. Judy Holland, retired on June 9 after 40 years of honorable service.

Holland began her career in the Air National Guard on Jan. 28, 1972.

"I can't believe how fast 40 years have gone by. It seems like a couple of years ago I was in Basic Training. I have made so many wonderful and beautiful friends who I miss very much. I tell the younger airmen to do their best in whatever job they are doing, have a good attitude and go to work," said Holland.

During her career, Holland was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal nine times and the Air Force Longevity Service Award six times. She was also awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal.

Holland's first assignment was at the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery, Ala. where she served as an administrative specialist. Later she was assigned to the State Military Department's Human Resources Office as a temporary technician. In 1996, she joined the 106th Operations Support Group at the 117th Air Refueling Wing as a supervisor. Holland's last assignment was in the 117th Maintenance Group as the administrative specialist.

"We're extremely proud of Senior Master Sgt. Holland and her 40 year career with the Alabama Air National Guard. While she may not have realized it in 1972, her enlistment was opening doors for other women in the State," said Col. Jeff Newton, Vice Commander of the 117th Air Refueling Wing.

Holland was the Executive Council Representative of the National Guard Enlisted Association in North Alabama. She was also a member of the Federal Women's Program.

The 117th Air Refueling Wing would like to thank Senior Master Sgt. Judy Holland for her 40 years of dedication and excellent service to the United States of America and to the Great State of Alabama.