Poplin takes command of operations group

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen
  • 138th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Col. Rick Poplin assumed command of the 138th Operations Group (OG) during a change of command ceremony held here Feb. 8 in the aerospace dining facility.

The ceremony actually served two purposes as Poplin not only took group command from outgoing OG commander, Col. Scott Stratton, but also was promoted to the rank of colonel by Oklahoma Assistant Adjutant General Air, Brig. Gen. Greg Ferguson.

"Recently, in Ops, we've talked about standing on the shoulder of giants.  When we think about standing on the shoulders of giants, we think of people like General Wyatt, Gen Cortright, or the initial cadre of F-16 Pilots like Boston Butter, Ragin Bull or Joker Miller who transformed our wing into one of the premiere F-16 units on the planet," stated Poplin.  "We stand on the shoulders of these giants...they are our heroes.  They built this place, and it is our responsibility to not only protect the house they built, but to leave it a little better for the next generation of heroes."

Poplin started his career as an enlisted Airman in 1988 and worked as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist on the A-7D Corsair II.  He received his commission in 1993, became a pilot with the 138th Fighter Wing and has logged over 2,800 flying hours with 73 combat missions.

In 2013 Poplin graduated with honors as a Distinguished Graduate from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security & Resource Strategy, Fort Leslie J. McNair, Washington, DC.