Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Doherty, Director of Air Force Services, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., presents the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations guidon to Col. Daniel F. Merry, the new AFMAO commander, during a change of command ceremony July 11, 2014 in the atrium of the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. —
Col. Daniel F. Merry assumed command of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations from Col. John M. Devillier in a ceremony July 11 at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Doherty, Director of Air Force Services, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., presided over the ceremony.
Merry, hand-picked for the position, comes to AFMAO from the 100th Mission Support Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England where he served as the group commander.
"We went through an exhaustive process ... searching across the Air Force to find the right leader and the right officer for this sensitive and most unique command position in the Air Force," Doherty said to Merry. "We found the right officer and found the right leader in you."
Senior leaders and the nation place a great deal of importance and trust in this organization, stressed the general.
"You get one chance to get it right when you take on this mission and when you care for the families of the fallen of this great nation," said Doherty.
The general told the Merry he is worthy of that challenge.
"I am going to work diligently to make sure I uphold up the expectations that come with the position of this level," said Merry.
"Our team is already strong, was well led, is fully capable of continued excellence -- my family and I join you enthusiastically -- knowing full well there will be challenges, there will be sorrow, but also certain there will be exceptional results as we continue the vector set," added AFMAO's new commander.
"Dignity, honor, respect, care, service, support -- six words -- six words to live by in any business, but for AFMAO, they represent clear objectives that we must achieve every day, and that is what we will continue to do," said Merry. "We will work those objectives together -- we will work them tirelessly for the fallen and for the families."