t Gen Steven Shepro, three-star US Air Force General Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, held his retirement ceremony today 6 September 2019 at NATO Headquarters, Belgium. The ceremony was presided over by General Tod Wolters, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), with Deputy Secretary General (DSG) Rose Gottemoeller and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC), Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach delivering opening remarks.
In the presence of the Belgian Chief of Defence, General Marc Compernol, NATO permanent representatives, military representatives from NATO and Partner nations, friends and family, Lt Gen Shepro celebrated retirement from the US Air Force after thirty-five year career here in Brussels. To hold the remarkable ceremony in the new NATO headquarters, with the dramatic backdrop of historic symbols and flags, was a testament to his belief in the values, mission and future relevance of the Alliance. The attendance was a testament to nations’ mutual belief in the Alliance and in General Shepro.
DSG Gottemoeller spoke of her heartfelt appreciation for Lt Gen Shepro’s service to his country and NATO. She thanked him for being a great military counterpart as they worked closely side by side over the last three years. CMC Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach recognized Lt Gen Shepro’s distinguished career in the US Air Force, his keen diplomatic skills, his military leadership and his significant contributions to the Military Committee and the Alliance. The Chairman stressed he could not have had a better deputy, and commended his peerless ability to lead and solve problems in many of the Allies native languages.
General Tod Wolters re-emphasized how strongly Lt Gen Shepro believes in the NATO mission. How those who have worked with Lt Gen Shepro know him for calm demeanour, vast intellect and sage advice. SACEUR stressed that working with the Deputy Chairman made others elevate their game; he made a huge difference throughout his career, saving hundreds of lives through his work in the field but also in the Pentagon. Gen Wolters concluded in saying that Lt Gen Shepro and his family will be sorely missed by the US Air Force and by NATO.
The Deputy Chairman closed the ceremony by thanking those he had worked with throughout his career for inspiring and challenging him. He also praised his family for their constant support.
Lt Gen Shepro concluded by stating, “So I part with humility and pride. Humility in being part of this Alliance with all its members filling this unique role of DCMC the best I could in support of NATO and this transatlantic bond. And with pride in those values that the Alliance defends and must defend. Because history is clear on what that takes in terms of resolve, capability and cohesion. NATO cannot let go of the wheel… There is no alternate NATO”.