by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway and Airman 1st Class Jeff Parkinson
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
5/13/2014 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The enlisted force of Air Force Special Operations Command presented its commander with the highest honor it can bestow upon an individual.
Exactly 551 enlisted AFSOC Airmen inducted Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel into the Order of Sword at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., May 9.
The general is the ninth inductee into AFSOC's Order of the Sword, having first acknowledged the nomination from Chief Master Sgt. Bill Turner, former AFSOC command chief.
"Of all the things that we can do for the enlisted force, for the officer force, and for our civilian force, there's really only one thing the enlisted core can do for our senior commanders, and that's the Order of the Sword," said Turner.
Before dinner was served, the audience watched a video, which showcased AFSOC's 24/7 mission capabilities.
Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Caruso, AFSOC command chief, called the ceremony to formally induct the general.
After a photo montage of Fiel, which gave a glimpse into his deep commitment to the Air Force and its Airmen, the honor guard marched the AFSOC sword to the stage.
The council also paid tribute to Fiel's wife, Donna, and her sacrifice and dedication to Airmen and their families.
"I think Gen. Fiel will go down in history as one of those commanders who always put the enlisted core first," said Jim Binnicker, the ninth chief master sergeant of the Air Force. "So, I think he and Mrs. Fiel ... actually Mrs. Fiel should be the one getting the sword."
With a ceremonial sword and the AFSOC shield placed before him, Fiel spoke to the enlisted Airmen.
"Words will never express the love and admiration both me and Donna have for each and every one of you that have been involved in AFSOC, for me, for the past 33 years," said Fiel. "It is extremely overwhelming and humbling to receive such an honor.
"There are not enough thank you's that I could say," he added.