Poplin takes command of operations group

Col. Rick Poplin accepts the 138th Operations Group (OG) guidon from Col. David B. Burgy, 138th Fighter Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony for the 138th OG, Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla.  The ceremony was officiated by Burgy and was held in the aerospace dining facility during the wing's February unit training assembly.  (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt.  Mark A. Moore/Released)

Col. Rick Poplin accepts the 138th Operations Group (OG) guidon from Col. David B. Burgy, 138th Fighter Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony for the 138th OG, Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla. The ceremony was officiated by Burgy and was held in the aerospace dining facility during the wing's February unit training assembly. (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark A. Moore/Released)

Lt. Gen. Harley Hughes, USAF, (Ret.), and Mrs. Katie Poplin pin Col. Rick Poplin during his promotion ceremony Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla.  The pinning ceremony followed a change of command where Poplin assumed command of the 138th Operation Group during the wing's February unit training assembly.  (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt.  Mark A. Moore/Released)

Lt. Gen. Harley Hughes, USAF, (Ret.), and Mrs. Katie Poplin pin Col. Rick Poplin during his promotion ceremony Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla. The pinning ceremony followed a change of command where Poplin assumed command of the 138th Operation Group during the wing's February unit training assembly. (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark A. Moore/Released)

Oklahoma Assistant Adjutant General Air, Brig. Gen. Greg Ferguson congratulates Col. Rick Poplin after promoting him to the rank of colonel during a pinning ceremony Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla.  The pinning ceremony followed a change of command where Poplin assumed command of the 138th Operation Group during the wing's February unit training assembly.  (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt.  Mark A. Moore/Released)

Oklahoma Assistant Adjutant General Air, Brig. Gen. Greg Ferguson congratulates Col. Rick Poplin after promoting him to the rank of colonel during a pinning ceremony Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla. The pinning ceremony followed a change of command where Poplin assumed command of the 138th Operation Group during the wing's February unit training assembly. (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark A. Moore/Released)

Col. Rick Poplin addresses family, friends and members of his unit after accepting command of the 138th Operations Group, Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla.  The ceremony was officiated by Col. David B. Burgy, 138th Fighter Wing commander and was held during the wing's February unit training assembly.  (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt.  Mark A. Moore/Released)

Col. Rick Poplin addresses family, friends and members of his unit after accepting command of the 138th Operations Group, Feb. 8, 2015, Tulsa Air National Guard base, Tulsa, Okla. The ceremony was officiated by Col. David B. Burgy, 138th Fighter Wing commander and was held during the wing's February unit training assembly. (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark A. Moore/Released)

TULSA AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. -- 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.