Joint Base Andrews hosts 2018 Honorary Commander Induction Ceremony

  • Published
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Andrews welcomed 10 community and civic leaders into the 2018 Honorary Commanders Program during an induction ceremony here May 2.

The honorary commanders program gives local community leaders the opportunity to understand the mission of the Air Force and the role of JBA in the Department of Defense’s overall mission. It also allows military commanders and their units to connect with their community.

“These relationships are mutually beneficial,” said Col. Jocelyn J. Schermerhorn, 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews vice commander. “Effective community support is essential to our mission, and having personal relationships with local service members provides firsthand perspective to the public that can’t be matched.”


Across the National Capital Region, honorary commanders serve as a civilian interface between Joint Base Andrews and the external community, ensuring an increase in direct communication and partnership. 

“Building public trust and creating a positive relationship between our military and the community is essential,” said Jim Estepp, Andrews Business & Community Alliance president and CEO. “Coming to these events allows us to develop and maintain a mutual understanding of our respective missions and is a win-win for JBA and the community.”

During the ceremony, inductees and their military counterparts were recognized on stage and presented an honorary commander’s lapel pin and a certificate of induction.

The newly inducted honorary commanders will serve two-year terms and join the 27 already serving. 

Throughout the year, honorary commanders are invited to attend base tours, change-of-command ceremonies and various social functions on base and in the surrounding communities that Airmen and Sailors from Joint Base Andrews support. In turn, service members are invited to participate in events in the community.

This year's new honorary commanders are:

- Mrs. Sonya Gaston, principal Francis T. Evans Elementary School

- Ms. Helga Weschke, director, Federal Business Relations Office of Military and Federal 

  Affairs, Maryland


- Mr. Conrad Marshall, general manager, Transdev North America

- Ms. Starlet Hunter, manager, Community Engagement, MGM Casino

- Mr. Earl Furfine, leader, North America Big Deals Squad

- Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr., senior pastor First Baptist Church, Glenarden, Maryland

- Mr. James F. Barter, Jr., managing partner, West End Capital Group

- Ms. Mikiko Land, director, Corporate Marketing and Business Development, Charles P.

  Johnson & Associates


- Mr. Kevin McCarthy, vice president, Community Engagement, Washington Nationals


- Honorable Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Administrative Judge Prince George’s County and 7th     

  Judicial Circuit, Prince George’s County, Maryland