Local leader becomes 1st Honorary Commander at 121st ARW

Luke Fedlam visits Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Air Refueling Wing Feb. 24, 2016. The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the military units first hand. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Luke Fedlam visits Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Air Refueling Wing Feb. 24, 2016. The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the military units first hand. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Luke Fedlam visits Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Air Refueling Wing Feb. 24, 2016. The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the military units first hand. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Luke Fedlam visits Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Air Refueling Wing Feb. 24, 2016. The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the military units first hand. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Luke Fedlam visits Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Air Refueling Wing Feb. 24, 2016. The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the military units first hand. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Luke Fedlam visits Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Air Refueling Wing Feb. 24, 2016. The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the military units first hand. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

RICKENBACKER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ohio -- The 121st Air Refueling Wing welcomed Luke Fedlam as the Honorary Commander for the 121st Operations Group Feb. 24, 2016.

After hearing Col. Mark D. Auer, commander of the 121st ARW, speak during a community event, Fedlam decided he wanted to get involved with the military again, joining together with Auer to start off the Honorary Commander program for the 121st.

The Honorary Commander program allows community leaders the opportunity to witness the missions, programs and operations of the Air National Guard personnel at Rickenbacker firsthand and to understand the role the 121st ARW plays in supporting the Ohio National Guard's various missions.

Fedlam, an attorney for Scotts Miracle-Gro, served nine years in the Army. During his enlistment, he spent time as an Infantry Officer in the Pennsylvania National Guard before transferring to the Ohio National Guard as a Brigade Public Affairs Officer and separated as a Captain in 2011.

"I am honored and humbled to be able to be a part of the new Honorary Commander program at the 121st," said Fedlam. "To be able to serve those who serve all of us is a great feeling."

Although the Honorary Commander program is something used frequently at active duty bases, it is not something common in the National Guard, said Auer.

"I hope that, together, we will be able to develop this program in such a way that it becomes an example for other units to follow," said Fedlam. "What an incredible opportunity to further establish the bridge between the military and the community."

With this program, the 121st will be able to maximize the opportunities to share the Air National Guard story, people and missions with civilians who have no prior military connections and in spheres of influence where the unit has neither history nor presence.

"I truly look forward to learning more about the men and women who courageously put country and community before self and protect our freedoms every single day," said Fedlam. "I look forward to understanding the multifaceted mission of the 121st here in central Ohio, across the country and around the world, and sharing that awesome story with other leaders across our community."