RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong received the highest honor that enlisted airmen can bestow upon an individual — the Order of the Sword — during a ceremony Friday.

Nearly 600 people packed the Ramstein Officers Club to honor the four-star general, the highest-ranking American Air Force officer in Europe. The 33-year Air Force veteran has commanded U.S. Air Forces in Europe, which is based at Ramstein, since 2003.

Foglesong, a pilot who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering, said he told Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman on the way to the ceremony that it would be the “high-water mark” of his Air Force career.

“I’m not sure I deserve this,” Foglesong said. “I’ve lost too many airmen that actually were dependent on me. … I’ll remember them all.”

The Order of the Sword dates to the Middle Ages in Europe and was adopted in the United States around the Revolutionary War. The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Order of the Sword honors recipients for “conspicuous and significant contribution to the welfare and prestige of the enlisted corps and the military establishment.”

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