VCSAF Wilson ends longest tenure in AF history

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Robert Barnett
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen “Seve” Wilson retired Nov. 13 in a ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., ending the longest tenure in the position. 

Retired Gen. David L. Goldfein, the 21st Air Force chief of staff, presided over the ceremony.

“It’s just an honor to do this; not only for an incredible leader who has left a legacy as the longest-serving vice chief of staff in the history of the Air Force, but also for a man I admire, and someone I’m proud to call my friend,” Goldfein said.

Goldfein went on to name a few highlights of Wilson’s career, from his time as a T-38 Talon instructor pilot to his most recent role as the Air Force’s second highest ranking officer.

“When I got a call from (Retired Gen. Mark Welsh) telling me I was about to be selected as the 21st chief, and did I have any recommendation for vice chief,” Goldfein explained, “I only gave him one name: Seve Wilson. We’re a great fit for each other. The philosopher and the engineer.”

Wilson served as VCSAF from July 2016 to November 2020. During this time, he led the Spark Tank competition, conceived the Vice Chief’s Challenge and partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish an artificial intelligence accelerator that combines the efforts of Airmen, MIT students and professors to produce the digital tools necessary for real world operations. 

“It’s been an amazing, amazing ride,” Wilson said. “We’ve been more than fortunate to meet some incredible folks along this journey.”

The 39th vice chief of staff said he was proud to serve alongside Airmen and lead them, giving them the resources they need to propel the Air Force into the future.

“That’s our job; find them and unleash them,” he said. “As the vice chief, I got the best part of the deal, because I got to work hand-in-hand with world-class Airmen … doing what is probably one of the most important things we can – preparing the next generation.”

Wilson was also an advocate for resiliency and innovation programs, and an advocate for nuclear modernization, hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence and multi-domain operations. He was also instrumental in the development of the B-21 Raider.

Wilson added that his successor, Gen. David W. Allvin, is the right leader in the right place to continue building the future force.

“You are officially the last standing team member of Team 21,” Goldfein said to Wilson. “So this event closes out the team. And how exciting to welcome Dave and Gina Allvin as the 40th vice chief of staff. A great congratulations to him and to Gina. He and CQ (Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.) are going to make an incredible team.”

Allvin was promoted to general Nov. 12 and will assume the title of VCSAF on Nov. 16.