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ANG command chief: Ultimate Airmen can be leaders at every level

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer
  • 182nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The top enlisted Air National Guardsman has three targets in his sights to ensure the force is always on mission, and he is traveling to ANG bases in person to make sure the enlisted corps knows how to do it.

Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, the 11th command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard, promotes three aim points to the enlisted force: Commitment to the profession of arms, health of the force and embracing accomplishments. With the current challenges faced in the wartime environment, he says this means every single Airman counts.

"As the resources are constrained, the value of the Airmen increases, and therefore we need to take our jobs very seriously," Hotaling said. "We've got to make sure that every minute is spent training towards their [Air Force specialty codes] as much as possible so that we can provide the combatant commanders the warfighters that they need."

According to Air Force Instruction 36-2618, "The Enlisted Force Structure," force development starts with Air Force's three core values: Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.

"[The MAJCOM command chiefs] evaluated them last year and to be honest with you, I think those three core values are enduring. They are spot-on," Hotaling said. "They exemplify the very fact of what we want to produce out of Airmen. If you live by those core values, that you are going to have a great career and a great life and they should be untouched, in my opinion."

In addition to the core values, Hotaling says any Airman can be an enlisted leader at any level by applying what is learned through professional military education.

"In [John C. Maxwell's book "The 360 Degree Leader"] the theory really is that you can be a leader no matter where you sit in an organization. And I believe that's what makes the ultimate Airman leader," Hotaling said. "It's just proof that what we're trying to do is teach Airmen at all levels of responsibility that they can be leaders, and if you empower yourself through education, training and experiences, you will be that leader of what we need in the Air National Guard."

The command chief said Airmen empower themselves and others through maintaining wellness in the Comprehensive Airman Fitness doctrine's four pillars of mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.

"It's just caring about each other. You have a good wingman concept, you have a healthy organization," Hotaling said.

Hotaling promoted these attributes as key to the "always on mission" readiness symbolized by the National Guard Minuteman.

"And 'Minuteman' means what? Ready in any minute," Hotaling said. "You are an Airman at all times."