• In 2018, the Montgomery Chapter recognizes Chief Master Sgt. Tom Gwaltney, USAF (Ret.) (l), for his contributions to the chapter by naming its Young AFCEAN Award in his honor. Then-Chapter President Brian Knott is also pictured. Chief Gwaltney passed away on March 15, 2020. Credit: Montgomery Chapter
     In 2018, the Montgomery Chapter recognizes Chief Master Sgt. Tom Gwaltney, USAF (Ret.) (l), for his contributions to the chapter by naming its Young AFCEAN Award in his honor. Then-Chapter President Brian Knott is also pictured. Chief Gwaltney passed away on March 15, 2020. Credit: Montgomery Chapter

Former AFCEA Regional Vice President Tom Gwaltney Passes Away

March 18, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
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Retired Air Force chief master sergeant served the association for more than 30 years.


Chief Master Sgt. Tom Gwaltney, USAF (Ret.), former AFCEA Mid-South regional vice president, passed away on March 15, 2020.

Chief Gwaltney committed his life to improving the mission and goals of AFCEA International during his more than 30 years of service to the association. He served as Mid-South regional vice president for 14 years, where he advised 67 new presidents.

He also served as the Montgomery Chapter president for three years and chapter education foundation director for 14 years. Chief Gwaltney was recognized in 2018 with the Admiral Jon L. Boyes Medal for Distinguished Service to AFCEA, which is awarded to a select few for their career service to the association.

Chief Gwaltney retired from the Air Force after 32 years of distinguished service as chief master sergeant, including service with the Presidential Airlift Support Squadron. After his retirement, he remained active, continuing to serve on boards and in leadership positions within the Air Force, most notably with AFCEA but also with the Air Force Association, Wright Flyers of Montgomery, Air University Foundation and the Maxwell-Gunter Chiefs Group. He was also engaged within the community as a member of the St. Bede’s Catholic Church, the Montgomery Kiwanis Club and the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.

He is survived by his loving wife Helen Gwaltney; son Thomas W. Gwaltney Jr. (Neia) of Ormond Beach, Florida; daughters Katrina Magdon (Stan) of Montgomery, Alabama, Janice Pettit (Bret) of Lawrenceville, Georgia; and grandchildren Jenna Booth (Jacob), Will Gwaltney (Ozge), Trey Magdon, Ashley Pettit and Andrew Pettit. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date to coordinate with burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

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I had the great pleasure of being an RVP working with Tom in his last years as an RVP. I admired his commitment and style. After my years of being part of AFCEA and working with AFCEA to give to so many others, the most important part that made my wife understand the greatness of AFCEA was the couple hours we and a few others spent in the hotel bar after an AFCEA Awards Banquet in Baltimore listening to Tom and Helen tell stories about their times in the USAF, AFCEA and their families. Great people. Nice people. Tom will live on through the positive example and impact he made in so many lives.

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