Maj. Gen. Brian Kelly assumed command of the Air Force Personnel Center in a ceremony Friday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas.

Kelly succeeds Maj. Gen. Peggy Poore, who is retiring in October. 

"It is an honor and privilege to stand here before you all today," Kelly said. "Looking ahead, I will be tireless in my efforts to take care of this fantastic AFPC family that has been entrusted to me, and I will be equally tireless in helping our AFPC team take care of our total force family. There will be challenges ahead, but I look forward to utilizing all of the skills, expertise, dedication and talent we have here as we strive to fulfill our role in developing airmen who can support, lead and operate in today's joint, multi-domain battlespace."

Kelly has been the director of military force management policy under Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the Air Force's personnel chief, for the past three years. Grosso presided over the change of command ceremony.

Grosso lauded Kelly for his role in overseeing the rollout of the new enlisted performance evaluation system, the expansion of pregnancy and paternity leave, opening all combat positions to women, and growing the force after the steep drawdown of 2014.

Grosso also said Kelly made numerous trips to Capitol Hill to convince lawmakers to increase the annual pilot bonus for the first time in 19 years, which is a key plank in the Air Force's strategy to tackle its pilot shortage.

"Airpower does not roar over the skies of Iraq, space power does not triangulate an infantry unit's grid to provide close-air support, and cyber power does not defend against and deter adversaries from invading critical networks without the dedicated team of AFPC professionals under the leadership of their commander," Grosso said. "Not only is Kelly a phenomenal leader, he is a gifted and strategic thinker who I believe will continue to build on this headquarters' success."

When Kelly became the Air Force's director of force management policy in February 2014, the service was just beginning a massive, rapid downsizing of its forced that separated about 19,833, almost one-third of which were involuntary cuts.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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