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MIANG welcomes newest general officer to ranks

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Chelsea E. FitzPatrick
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs

 The Michigan Air National Guard welcomed the newest general officer to its ranks May 4, 2019, during a formal promotion ceremony for Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen held at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Mammen is stepping into the role of commanding officer of both the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base, providing command and control of five groups, two flying missions and an installation with approximately 47 tenant organizations, including every branch of the military and Department of Homeland Security.

"He is one of the most upstanding individuals I have ever worked with."Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, Jr.

The newly promoted general was joined by his wife, Linda; their three children; and his mother, Hannah Mammen; and other special guests and members of the 127th Wing and Selfridge community at large.

“He is one of the most upstanding individuals I have ever worked with and he's not afraid to take on tough challenges," said Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, commander of the Michigan Air National Guard and presiding official of the promotion ceremony.

A command pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours, Mammen most recently served as the Michigan Air National Guard’s director of operations at Joint Force Headquarters, Lansing, Michigan, advising Isabelle on the warfighting capabilities and readiness of each organization within the command. He's commanded flight missions in both the C-26 Metroliner and the C-130 Hercules.

Mammen has flown numerous operations missions domestically and in the Pacific, European and South American theaters. In 2004, he deployed to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, serving as operations officer with the 738th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron in support of both Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom during the tour.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be standing here as a general officer,” Mammen said, showing the audience a photo of when he received his second lieutenant rank in September 1986. "Now today, with my Mother and wife, we get to recreate it."

After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in astrophysics, Mammen was commissioned via the reserve officer training corps program and went on to complete his undergraduate pilot training at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He served as an instructor pilot in the T-38 Talon there beginning in 1988. Over the next six years, he taught advanced pilot training to students and instructors representing 12 participating NATO nations and held multiple leadership roles before leaving to join the Michigan Air National Guard in 1994.

Isabelle said that while Mammen should be proud of his achievement, he achieved his rank with the support of his family and mentors. During the ceremony, Mammen specifically addressed three general officer mentors, including former Wing commander, Mike Peplinski.

"Twelve years ago he started me on this path, when he advised that if I want to go farther in my career I have to start by taking squadron command," Mammen said, adding with a chuckle, "I blame him for this."

During his 22 year-long career at Selfridge, Mammen also served in key roles such as 127th Wing Inspector General, commanding officer of both the 127th Maintenance Squadron and 127th Maintenance Group before becoming vice wing commander in April 2016.

After acknowledging his mentors, Mammen recognized former chief master sergeants who advised him from an enlisted perspective, asking them to stand in the auditorium.

"This is a celebration for you, I would not be here if it weren't for all your hard work and mentorship over the years," Mammen said. "I am standing on your shoulders."