Combat Comm chief retires with a warrior's march

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. - Lt. Col. Todd Schug, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron and ruck march commander, (left) and Staff Sgt. Rome Reiswig, 52nd CBCS Customer Support Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge, talk with Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Coyle, 52nd CBCS superintendent, about the ruck march route while 2nd Lt. Patrick Beville prepares his ruck pack. The route would take more than 30 members of the 689th Combat Communications Wing across six miles of Robins’ roadways and woodlands March 15, in honor of Chief Coyle’s retirement March 19. (U.S. Air Force Photo/2nd Lt. Joel Cooke)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. - Lt. Col. Todd Schug, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron and ruck march commander, (left) and Staff Sgt. Rome Reiswig, 52nd CBCS Customer Support Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge, talk with Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Coyle, 52nd CBCS superintendent, about the ruck march route while 2nd Lt. Patrick Beville prepares his ruck pack. The route would take more than 30 members of the 689th Combat Communications Wing across six miles of Robins’ roadways and woodlands March 15, in honor of Chief Coyle’s retirement March 19. (U.S. Air Force Photo/2nd Lt. Joel Cooke)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – More than 30 Airmen, ranging from junior enlisted up to the senior leadership of both the 689th Combat Communications Wing and its 5th Combat Communications Group, participated in a 5 a.m. six-mile ruck march across Robins’ roadways and woodlands March 15, in honor of the upcoming retirement of Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Coyle March 19, who has served nearly 30 years of service in communications units across the world. (U.S. Air Force Photo/2nd Lt. Joel Cooke)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – More than 30 Airmen, ranging from junior enlisted up to the senior leadership of both the 689th Combat Communications Wing and its 5th Combat Communications Group, participated in a 5 a.m. six-mile ruck march across Robins’ roadways and woodlands March 15, in honor of the upcoming retirement of Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Coyle March 19, who has served nearly 30 years of service in communications units across the world. (U.S. Air Force Photo/2nd Lt. Joel Cooke)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- "Formation, a-tten-T-I-O-N! Put on your rucks; mount-up; this will be a six-mile march," shouted the ruck commander in the early morning hours March 15.

More than 30 personnel of the 689th Combat Communications Wing moved out on a 5 a.m. voluntary motivational physical training event in honor of the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron superintendent and oldest member of the wing, Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Coyle.

"Have you ever thought to yourself 'When I retire, I want to have a professional ceremony with the honor guard, awards, family and friends?'" asked Master Sgt. Robert Talenti, 689th Combat Communications Wing first sergeant, in reference to the point of the march. "Did you envision a dinner or luncheon with some kind words and wishes well? You'd drive to the event, park the car, and walk the 30 steps from the parking lot to the venue.

"But what about an o'dark hundred yell of the ruck commander?" continued the first shirt. "Okay, move out - LEFT, RIGHT, LEFTY RIGHT LEFT!' That's how you go out like a lion, not a lamb."

Both junior Airmen and senior officers participated in the event with the chief.

"This was one of the most rewarding opportunities of my career," said Lt. Col. Todd Schug, 52nd CBCS commander and Chief Coyle's boss. "It was an opportunity to get back to our roots and experience once again why we are combat warriors - hoorah! This early morning formation volunteered to accompany and honor our oldest member of the 5th Combat Communication Group, Chief Master Sergeant Shawn Coyle for his nearly 30 years of service to his country!"

Born in Waynesboro, Pa., and graduating from Waynesboro Area High School in May 1977, the chief enlisted in the Air Force and reported for basic at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in May 1977. He entered the Air Force as a cargo specialist, and cross-trained in 1983 into the Computer Information Systems career field. With the exception of a three-year break in service in the mid-80s, the chief has continued to serve his country in a military capacity over the last three decades, providing leadership in communication units throughout the world.

"I did the ruck march to share some of my remaining time with my Combat Comm brethren doing something that is unique to those like us," said Chief Coyle, "the men and women of the American military. It offered the opportunity to band together on a common purpose sharing stories, singing jodies, and just creating another awesome memory for me to reminisce about."

At the end of the over 2.5 hours of singing, marching, stories, and just plain fun, the chief treated the group to a hot breakfast at the base club. He provided several printed historical quotes that he dispersed to each table, which were read and discussed.

Col. Theresa Giorlando, 689 CCW commander and ruck march participant, presented a commander's coin to Chief Coyle at the post-march breakfast.

"This is a great opportunity to thank you for reminding us why we joined the Air Force and for providing this camaraderie," said the colonel. "The march is something that we all won't soon forget!'

Chief Coyle will have his formal retirement ceremony at the Robins Museum of Aviation, Friday, March 19.

"The ceremony will be in full service dress, no ruck-packs or six-mile marches, just in case you were wondering," said Sergeant Talenti. "The men and women of the 689th CCW wish Chief Coyle well in his retirement."