Chief takes charge of the enlisted professional military education center

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center
Chief Master Sgt. Edward L. Walden, Sr. became Commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in a ceremony here May 20 in Wilson Hall.

Col. Jessica Meyeraan, commander of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, and Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, command chief of the Air National Guard, joined Walden's family and others in congratulating him.

Service members, family and friends also watched Walden assume official responsibility on stage as the 14th commandant to lead what is the Air Force's largest center for NCO academy and Airman leadership school.

Walden, who has a doctorate in postsecondary and adult education, succeeds Chief Master Sgt. Thomas K. Stoudt, who retired in January after serving as commandant for 15 months.  Senior Master Sgt. P. Christine Shawhan served as the interim commandant since.

"This is a position I've been looking forward to since I first came into the Air Force," said Walden. "I'm actually a graduate of this NCO academy in 2003. Here I am now being able to take on that responsibility. It's one of those career life-long journeys."

Walden is now also the senior enlisted advisor to the TEC's commander. That involves a staff of 85 Airmen and civilians.

"Chief Walden is the right man, at the right time, for the right position," said Meyeraan.

Walden most recently served as the Services Career Field Manager for the National Guard Bureau at the Air National Guard Readiness Center.

He said he looked forward to working more directly with the Air Force's men and women.

"The transformation you see by the time they finish here is outstanding," said Walden. "They walk out and they are motivated to go out and help others."

Walden joined the Air Force in 1987 as a services specialist. He was selected in 1997 as the NCO in charge of training for the Air Force Thunderbirds. He enlisted in the Air National Guard in 2003 after a short break in military service.

Walden graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Training Development.  He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and earned his doctorate from Capella University.