SPRINGFIELD – Chief Master Sgt. Orvie Gunn of Girard, with Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) in Springfield retired Dec. 1 after 37 years of service in the Illinois Air National Guard.
Gunn’s nearly 40 years of service started on a whim, when he gave his cousin a ride to the recruiter’s office to sign enlistment paper work. Just graduating from Girard High School, Gunn said he saw a possible future serving in the Illinois Air National Guard.
“Next thing I know, 10 days later I raised my hand and enlisted myself,” said Gunn.
Gunn said he has two distinct chapters of his career. The first was working in the 183rd Fighter Wing human resources office and aiding fellow Airmen in the wing. The second was in 1985 when he was hired as a civilian federal technician for JFHQ, while still serving as a traditional guardsmen.
Gunn has also served the people of Illinois during state activations throughout the years. He aided operations during floods, snow storms and the NATO conference.
“It was some long days, but at the end of it all, it felt rewarding,” said Gunn.
Gunn’s service has left a lasting mark on the Illinois Air National Guard, said Brig. Gen. William Cobetto, the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Air.
“Chief Master Sgt. Gunn has dedicated himself to the Airmen of the Illinois Air National Guard. He provided both mentorship and leadership through his hard work,” said Cobetto.
Gunn left some words of advice for service members.
“It can get frustrating. It can get a little aggravating. But, we are truly blessed to be able to wear that uniform and have that U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force on it,” said Gunn. “Always reflect and really consider yourself fortunate, to be able to do that and have the privilege and the opportunity to wear that uniform,” said Gunn.
Following his retirement Gunn said he will continue to work for the Illinois National Guard as a civilian in the human resources office.