HomeNewsArticle Display

81st TRG welcomes new commander

U.S Air Force Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, salutes the flag after relinquishing command during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S Air Force Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, salutes the flag after relinquishing command during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marcus Jackson, 334th Training Squadron instructor, speaks during the 81st Training Group change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marcus Jackson, 334th Training Squadron instructor, speaks during the 81st Training Group change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S Air Force Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, salutes Airmen as they march during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon.  Lawson's next assignment is to the United States Transportation Command.  (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

U.S Air Force Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, salutes Airmen as they march during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Lawson's next assignment is to the United States Transportation Command. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

U.S Air Force Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, salutes Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, after receiving the Legion of Merit medal during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Lawson's next assignment is to United States Transportation Command. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

U.S Air Force Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, salutes Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, after receiving the Legion of Merit medal during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Lawson's next assignment is to United States Transportation Command. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, 81st Training Group commander, addresses his new command during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. Geray assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, 81st Training Group commander, addresses his new command during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. Geray assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, passes the 81st Training Group guidon to Col. Chance Geray, 81st TRG commander, during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The passing of the guidon is a ceremonial symbol of exchanging command from one commander to another. Geray assumed command of the 81st Training Group from Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, passes the 81st Training Group guidon to Col. Chance Geray, 81st TRG commander, during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The passing of the guidon is a ceremonial symbol of exchanging command from one commander to another. Geray assumed command of the 81st Training Group from Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, takes the guidon from Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next. Lawson passed on command of the 81st TRG to Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, takes the guidon from Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next. Lawson passed on command of the 81st TRG to Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, presents the Legion of Merit award to Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. Lawson's next assignment is to United States Transportation Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, presents the Legion of Merit award to Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. Lawson's next assignment is to United States Transportation Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, and Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, watch Airmen march in formation during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next. Lawson passed command of the 81st TRG to Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, and Col. Leo Lawson Jr., outgoing 81st Training Group commander, watch Airmen march in formation during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next. Lawson passed command of the 81st TRG to Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seth Haddix)

U.S. Flags blow in the wind as Airmen from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 13

U.S. Flags blow in the wind as Airmen from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Andre Johnson, 338th Training Squadron commander, stands at parade rest as Airmen from the 81st Training Group march for a pass and review during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 13

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Andre Johnson, 338th Training Squadron commander, stands at parade rest as Airmen from the 81st Training Group march for a pass and review during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 13

Airmen from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group march during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 13

Airmen from the 81st Training Group march during the 81st TRG change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 1, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st TRG commander, assumed command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Col. Chance Geray, incoming 81st Training Group commander, gained command from Col. Leo Lawson, Jr., outgoing 81st TRG commander, during a change of command ceremony here, June 1.

Geray is a recent graduate of the U.S. Army College.

Before going to the U.S. Army War College, he was a deputy commander for the 435th Air and Space Communications Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Before relinquishing command, Lawson thanked everyone who has had an impact in his two year tenure here.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to shape the lives, the hearts and minds of the next generation of the world’s greatest Air Force,” said Lawson. “Today I declare the 81st TRG the best training group in the Air Force because of this team of professionals, instructors, military training leaders, training developers and administrators that create an environment that produces the world’s greatest Airmen. I’m also grateful for the partnership and support of the wing, the mission support group, the medical group and our community partners. Your teamwork has been an important part of our success.”

Lawson’s next assignment will be at U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

Geray said he is excited to be back to where he started 22 years ago where he graduated officer technical training, and to continue the legacy Lawson left behind.

“Lawson has built an exceptional team that leverages each others strengths and works together to help train our next generation of war fighters,” said Geray. “I will do my best to continue the success as we continue to develop our nation’s greatest assets in the joint force and our Air Force’s greatest weapons system, our Airmen. Together the 81st TRG dragons will train ‘em right, train to fight.”