Airmen from Kingsley Field came together and hosted the first, local Military Ball January 10, 2020 at the Running Y Ranch Resort.
During the event, guest speaker, retired Maj. Gen. Steven Goldfein, shared a request from his younger brother, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein: “Pull a G for me.” While the ball was a formal event, both Maj. Gen. Goldfein’s words along with emcees Master Sergeant Lee Lawson and Senior Airman Marc Hawthorne’s narration combined to lend an intimate and light-hearted feel to the evening’s festivities.
What began as the brain-child of Chief Master Sgt. Dominic Ingle, 173rd Fighter Wing command chief, and Chief Master Sgt. Henry Ivy, 173rd Maintenance Group, nearly a year ago culminated in a night of excellent food, camaraderie, and dancing at the Running Y.
Ingle noted that the state’s military ball is difficult for Kingsley members to attend because of the travel required, particularly for its youngest Airmen; he wanted to offer an opportunity to all airmen to attend something local.
“We needed to do something for Kingsley Airmen, by our Kingsley Airmen,” Ingle said. “We aren’t corporate – we are the profession of arms. This was a chance to show, all the way to our most junior Airmen, what that means.”
Ivy was tapped to lead the endeavor because of his past experiences orchestrating military balls at his former duty assignments. He assembled a team of over 30 volunteers that planned and coordinated the ball over a period of four months.
Ivy says he has received nothing but positive feedback about the event; multiple people commented to him that it was the best military event they’ve ever attended.
“The military isn’t just a job, it’s about our heritage,” added Ivy. “This wasn’t just an event to attend because it’s something you had to do for work, it was a chance to appreciate our brothers and sisters in arms and our military heritage.”
More than 200 Airmen and their families attended the event, each decked out in their finest attire. As
Hawthorne pointed out, “I only see some of you on the flight line, and wow, you clean up good!”
The venue was decorated to commemorate both the wing namesake 1st Lt. David R. Kingsley and the 1940s era. 173rd FW Commander Colonel Jeff Edwards remarked that the event was a celebration of Kingsley Field’s heritage, and Maj. Gen. Goldfein commended how the wing embraces its history.
Wing leadership has committed to ensuring heritage events occur annually for Team Kingsley Airmen; the intent is to host a military ball as that heritage event every other year. The next ball is tentatively scheduled during the September 2021 Air Force birthday celebration.