Welsh Accelerates Promotion for Train Hero

The airman who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a high-speed train to Paris will be promoted to senior airman at the end of October—and then to staff sergeant the first of November, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh announced Tuesday at ASC15. Welsh said he made the decision based on how A1C Stone has “handled all this,” not just because he thwarted the attack. “He has stayed very true to himself from the very beginning; has not let the moment overwhelm him. He has represented the Air Force very well,” Welsh told reporters after the announcement. “He has an instinct for saying and doing the right thing, which I think is going to be a very, very good attribute in a young NCO.” Stone was already scheduled to be promoted to senior airman next month, but the additional promotion was a surprise from Welsh at the end of a speech peppered with stories of heroes. Speaking to reporters before Welsh’s announcement, Stone said that while it “feels good” to be called a hero, he doesn’t consider himself one. “I believe any other airman in the Air Force would have done the same thing,” he said.