127th Maintenance Group Changes Command

  • Published
  • By SrA. Anna-Marie Wyant
  • 127th Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Gregory S. Holzhei is the new commander of the 127th Maintenance Group, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., formally accepting the position at the change of command ceremony April 4, 2009.

Holzhei initially took command of the group after his predecessor, Col. John H. Theisen, who was unable to attend the ceremony, retired in February, leaving Michigan for civilian employment overseas. 

Theisen received his commission in the U.S. Army from the Reserve Officer's Training Corps. He regularly participated in NATO operations while assigned to the British Sector in the Federal Republic of Germany. Upon leaving active duty, he became a contract negotiator in the defense industry and joined the Air National Guard. After participating in Operation Desert Storm, Theisen accepted a full time position in the Michigan Air National Guard. He served as the Deputy Commander for Support at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Vigilant resolve. 

Lt. Col.  Holzhei voiced gratitude for the help and support Col. Theisen offered.

"I appreciated how he showed me the processes and gave me insight to why things are the way they are," Holzhei said.

Prior to his current assignment, Col. Holzhei was the Deputy Commander for Maintenance in the 127th Air Refueling Group. He earned his commission in 1987 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Michigan State University. His first assignment after pilot training was at Williams AFB, Ariz., as a T-37 instructor pilot. His next duty station was Little Rock AFB, Ark., where he served as an operational C-130E and C-130H3 instructor, evaluator, and formal training unit evaluator pilot. He joined the Michigan Air National Guard in 1999 as a C-130 instructor pilot in the 171st Airlift Squadron at Selfridge.

Holzhei, who is now in charge of 432 authorized personnel, said the group has upheld a high standard of excellence, and he is grateful to be a part of it. During a speech at the assumption of command ceremony he compared the commander's position in a group to the rudder on a ship, leading it firmly yet gently.

"This group is headed in the right direction," Holzhei said. "I intend to be this ship's rudder."