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An honorary change of command

Col. Mike Hudson, Commander of the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., presents recent SCANG retirees with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Guardsman Retirement Medal during a mass formation Dec. 9, 2012. A change of command was also performed as Mr. Steven Mungo, the owner of Mungo Homes, assumed the 169th FW Honorary Commander position from Mr. Bill Dukes, the owner of the Columbia restaurant Blue Marlin.  (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Jorge Intriago/Released)

Col. Mike Hudson, Commander of the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., presents recent SCANG retirees with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Guardsman Retirement Medal during a mass formation Dec. 9, 2012. A change of command was also performed as Mr. Steven Mungo, the owner of Mungo Homes, assumed the 169th FW Honorary Commander position from Mr. Bill Dukes, the owner of the Columbia restaurant Blue Marlin. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Jorge Intriago/Released)

Col. Mike Hudson, Commander of the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., presents recent SCANG retirees with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Guardsman Retirement Medal during a mass formation Dec. 9, 2012. A change of command was also performed as Mr. Steven Mungo, the owner of Mungo Homes, assumed the 169th FW Honorary Commander position from Mr. Bill Dukes, the owner of the Columbia restaurant Blue Marlin.
(National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

Col. Mike Hudson, Commander of the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., presents recent SCANG retirees with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Guardsman Retirement Medal during a mass formation Dec. 9, 2012. A change of command was also performed as Mr. Steven Mungo, the owner of Mungo Homes, assumed the 169th FW Honorary Commander position from Mr. Bill Dukes, the owner of the Columbia restaurant Blue Marlin. (National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- Home builder Steven Mungo has big shoes to fill. In December, he succeeded Columbia restauranteur Bill Dukes as honorary commander for the 169th Fighter Wing, making him only the second business leader to step into the role originated by Dukes last year.

During the annual awards and retirement ceremony held during December drill, the CEO for Mungo Homes accepted the honorary wing guidon and began a year-long stint as a key advocate for the 169th.

Wing commander Col. Mike Hudson said, "Mister Dukes set the bar pretty high; he's a generous, influential and passionate champion for our Swamp Foxes. We're grateful for his support and for setting the stage for Mister Mungo, who clearly is a worthy successor. Like Mister Dukes, he's a patriot and philanthropist who is widely-respected and connected. We look forward to working with him in the coming year."

McEntire launched its honorary wing commander program during the summer of 2011 as a way to further strengthen its ties with the local business community and as recognition for a community leader who serves as an advocate for the wing throughout the corporate civic sectors.

New honorary wing king Mungo is well known for his dedication to the new home building industry and community development throughout South Carolina, as well as Raleigh, NC, and Savannah, GA. He serves on numerous local boards, including Lexington Medical Center, EdVenture Children's Museum and the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been inducted into the South Carolina Housing Hall of Fame and was the first South Carolina-based builder to receive the National Housing Quality Award.

"I am very honored and excited about serving as honorary wing commander for the coming year," Mungo said. "McEntire contributes so much to the community, so it is exciting to see how we can enhance the relationship between the SCANG and the local business community. It will also be a personal mission of mine to help employers better understand the importance of employing the Guard and being supportive of deployments when they occur."

Outgoing honorary wing commander Dukes (owner of the popular, upscale eatery The Blue Marlin) has been a galvanizing force behind Honor Flight of South Carolina, which provides World War II veterans with charter flights to Washington D.C. A staunch supporter of the SCANG for years, he played pivotal roles in McEntire's first-ever Air Ground Expo, 2011's SCNG Military and Family Appreciation Day and several recent Yellow Ribbon Events.

Dukes said, "During my tenure, I gained a tremendous appreciation for the sacrifices families make when our Guard members deploy, and I made an effort to share this with my friends and business associates who don't understand that stress and hardship.

"I will continue to be an ambassador for Guard members and their families and will do whatever I can to make sure the citizens of South Carolina understand why they are so special. The members of the Guard and their families are my heroes."

The December ceremony at which Mungo assumed honorary command of the wing mimicked traditional change of command ceremonies, including the passing of the guidon, a final salute for Dukes and a first salute for Mungo.