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Blum promoted to colonel

Newly promoted Col. Scott Blum, 108th Medical Group commander, stands proudly as his wife, Patricia, and son, Tyler, pin colonel rank on his service dress coat at his promotion ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., July 7, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kellyann Novak/Released)

Newly promoted Col. Scott Blum, 108th Medical Group commander, stands proudly as his wife, Patricia, and son, Tyler, pin colonel rank on his service dress coat at his promotion ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., July 7, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kellyann Novak/Released)

Col. Scott Blum, 108th Medical Group commander, poses for a photograph with retired Col. Barry Johnson after Blum's promotion ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., July 7, 2014. The colonel's insignia on Blum's service coat were passed down to him starting from Col. Johnson's father, who gave them to his son, who in turned passed them on to the former Medical Group commander Col. Sandra Long who passed them on to Blum. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kellyann Novak/Released)

Col. Scott Blum, 108th Medical Group commander, poses for a photograph with retired Col. Barry Johnson after Blum's promotion ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., July 7, 2014. The colonel's insignia on Blum's service coat were passed down to him starting from Col. Johnson's father, who gave them to his son, who in turned passed them on to the former Medical Group commander Col. Sandra Long who passed them on to Blum. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kellyann Novak/Released)

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The fireworks have ceased and the ashes have fallen, but the celebration is not over yet! After enjoying a four-day Independence Day weekend, it was time to celebrate the promotion of Lt. Col. Scott Blum to colonel.
      It was a beautiful, sunny morning on July 7, as members of the 108th Wing Medical Group prepared for Blum's promotion ceremony in the medical group classroom at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. With the chairs in place and the stage set, Blum's wife, Patricia, son, Tyler, and various other family and friends began to arrive for the ceremony. In attendance was the officiating officer, Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, the Adjutant General of New Jersey, along with the leadership of the New Jersey Air National Guard, the 108th Wing and the 87th Medical group.
       Blum's career began 31 years ago when he enlisted as an Airman. He rose to the rank of master sergeant before receiving his commission as a second lieutenant.
      "I always look for an opportunity to tell the young enlisted personnel that I was enlisted for 14 years," said Blum. "My biggest influences in my career came from senior NCO's and officers. They encouraged me to go to college do my professional military education, and be the best Airman I could be. It is my turn to pass that encouragement to the future leaders in the medical group and the Wing."
      After the orders for Blum's promotion were published, Patricia and Tyler joined Blum on stage to pin on his colonel rank.
      Those particular colonel's eagles have a special history behind them.
      Retired Col. Barry Johnson's father, Col. John Johnson, wore those insignia at his promotion in 1968. Johnson's father pinned his son with those same eagles, and Barry in turn gave them to Col. Sandra Long at her pinning. She then passed them onto Blum for his promotion. Blum said that Johnson asked him to continue the tradition and to "pass them on to a future colonel that displays honor and integrity and has earned your trust."
      "I look forward to making that happen," said Blum.