Veterans Day speaker uses humor, high expectations


Published:

Brig. Gen. Wayne R. Monteith will be the keynote speaker for the Massing of the Colors Nov. 11.

photo by Linda Wiggins

A sitting general is always a hot ticket to book as a keynote speaker, and when that general is a good speaker and has a sense of humor, it's an event not to be missed.

Commander of the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Brig. Gen. Wayne R. Monteith will be the keynote speaker for the 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 Massing of the Colors in observation of Veterans Day on the Cocoa Campus of Eastern Florida State College. The Veterans Day event is the largest in Brevard.

Monteith set the tone for what is expected to be a two-year assignment during the Change of Command ceremony when he was installed Aug 4. 2015, a mixture of high expectations and love for pop culture.

“My approach to life and leadership is borrowed from a great philosopher: 'Do, or do not, there is no try.' Jedi Master Yoda,” Monteith said with a smile, addressing a standing-room-only audience in the PAFB theater filled with about 1,000 military dignitaries from all over the world and local community leaders.

In addition to commanding the 45th, Monteith is the director of the Eastern Range. He leads more than 13,700 military, Department of Defense civilian and contractor personnel responsible for the processing and launching of U.S. and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Eastern Range is a 15-million-square-mile area that supports an average of 15 launches per year aboard Delta, Atlas, Falcon Navy and emerging launch vehicles. Monteith also manages wing launch and range infrastructure supporting NASA, commercial and missile test missions.

Before his most recent assignment as senior military assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Monteith commanded the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, Colo. from 2009 to 2011.

Monteith likened the honor of commanding a second space wing to “lightening striking twice.”

It's Monteith's second major community address to mark major military holidays since arriving just more than a year ago. He spoke at the inaugural Memorial Day ceremony the new Cape Canaveral National Ceremony in Scottsmoor/Mims May 30. The message then underscores the importance of calling the community together for the Nov. 11 event.

“It means a lot to our veterans and active military to see the community coming together in strong numbers to acknowledge them,” Monteith said.

The Veterans Day event will be at the George F. Schlatter Veterans Memorial Amphitheater,

1519 Clearlake Road in Cocoa. For more information, call 321-433-7022.