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MEEKER — On Feb. 11, Anthony “Tony” Seely was promoted to colonel during a ceremony officiated by the Chief of Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Lieutenant General John J. Bradley.
Tony is the son of Jerry and Mary Ann Seely of Meeker.
Col. Seely is currently assigned as the chief of the Joint European Reserve Unit and as the Air Force Reserve advisor at headquarters U.S. European Command located in Stuttgart, Germany.
The promotion ceremony was held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Air Force Reserve Senior Leader and Reserve Officer Association conferences. Friends and family from the Washington area as well as from Meeker and around the world attended. One friend even braved a military hop to Washington from Lajes Field, Azores — an Atlantic island located about 1,000 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal — to attend the ceremony.
Tony’s wife, Carey, and their son, Matthew, performed the ceremonial “pinning” of the new rank on Col. Seely’s service dress uniform, while his daughters, Hadleigh and Hannah, affixed the new epaulets to his shirt. Former boss and dear friend, Colonel (retired) Mary Kay Higgins delivered the invocation before Lt. Gen. Bradley commented on Tony and his career and the importance of Tony’s family to his accomplishments and future success.
After the pinning portion of the ceremony, Tony expressed his appreciation, not only to General Bradley and those in attendance but also to the innumerable people who partnered with him and his family during 23 years of flying and moving with the military.
During his remarks, he presented flowers to his sister-in-law, Kristy Lindquist; his mother-in-law, Connie Hughes; his daughters, Hadleigh and Hannah; and most importantly, his wife, Carey. Col. Seely closed with a brief rhyme that captured highlights of the journey with his wife and family and again recognized the impact of all those who had come alongside during their various moves and experiences.
Col. Seely entered the Air Force as a cadet at the USAF Academy, earning a bachelor of science degree in biology. Upon graduation in May 1985, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas.
After completing Fighter Lead-in and A-10 flight training he reported to his first combat unit, the 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), RAF Woodbridge, United Kingdom. He served as an A-10 pilot, four-ship flight lead, electronic combat pilot and instructor until January 1990, when he was selected to fly the F-117A Stealth Fighter.
Initially assigned to the 415th Fighter Squadron, Tonopah Test Range, Nev., he later upgraded to instructor and moved with his unit to Holloman AFB, N.M. He left this assignment in July 1994, to attend F-16 training in preparation for his selection as the Right Wing Pilot No. 3 and safety officer for the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, “Thunderbirds,” at Nellis AFB, N.V. From June 1997, until June 1999, Col. Seely was assigned to the 560th Flying Training Squadron (FTS), Randolph AFB, Texas, where he instructed lead-in fighter training in the AT-38A supersonic jet trainer.
After the San Antonio assignment, Tony separated from active duty and flew for United Airlines in Denver as a 737 and 757/767 pilot and instructor. In February 2001, he joined the Air Force Reserve and served as the deputy liaison officer director for the admissions liaison officers in Denver.
In April 2003, he was appointed as the chief at the war planning and air defense operations at the Pentagon, and moved to northern Virginia. He later worked in the same office as the chief of fighter requirements.
In January 2005, Col. Seely led the establishment of the Air Force Reserve Chief’s Action Group (CAG) and in January 2006, was selected to attend the National War College, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C., where he received a master’s of science in national security strategy. Col. Seely is currently the Air Force Reserve advisor and chief of the Joint European Reserve Unit, Headquarters United States European Command (EUCOM) in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, where he is responsible for advising EUCOM commanders and directors on the full spectrum of reserve policies and issues while liaising with senior Air Force Reserve leadership.
Col. Seely has attained a command pilot rating and logged more than 5,000 flight hours, with more than 3,000 being flown in fighter aircraft. His decorations include the distinguished flying cross, meritorious service medal with three oak leaf clusters, aerial achievement medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Force commendation medal.
Recently celebrating his 20th anniversary with his wife, Carey, they are blessed with three children, Matthew, 14, Hadleigh,11, and Hannah, 7.