Newark Airman promoted to Chief Master Sergeant in NY Air Guard's 174th Attack Wing

HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Christopher VanDemortel, an Afghanistan war veteran serving in the New York Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing received a promotion to the rank of chief master sergeant during a March 4, 2023 ceremony held at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.

VanDemortel serves in the 152 Air Operations Group as the senior advisor to the commander, Air National Guard Col. Kevin St. John, who presented VanDemortel with his new rank.

As Group Chief for the 152 Air Operation Group, VanDemortel provides guidance and support for all issues related to enlisted Airmen. He advises the commander on professional development, training, health and morale of Airmen.

"I never thought I would reach the rank of chief master sergeant," VanDemortel said, "but I hope to set the example and be a mentor for younger Airmen. My main focus will be on the enlisted and I will work with them and help them become our future senior enlisted leaders."

VanDemortel graduated from Newark Senior High School in Newark New York, in 1984 and then received his degree in Criminal Justice from Monroe Community College in 1986.

He joined the United States Army in 1985 through a delayed enlistment program and shipped for basic training in July of 1986 after his academic studies. While on active duty he served as a Military Policeman and was stationed in Germany until November of 1989.

He returned to New York and served from 1989 to 1992 in the New York Army National Guard as an anti-armor missile gunner.

Following a seven-year break in service, VanDemortel joined the New York Air National Guard in 1999 as a traditional Guardsman with the 174th Attack Wing (then a fighter wing). He served in the 174th Security Forces Squadron first as a Security Forces Specialist and then First Sergeant.

He moved to the 152nd Air Operations Group in 2019 and serves as the Chief of Information Protection and as such, oversees the information and industrial security programs for the 174th Attack Wing.

He deployed in support of operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and completed overseas tours in the Germany, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Columbia, South America.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air and Space Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Air Reserve Meritorious Service Medal.

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