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November Commander's View

  • Published
  • By Col. Paul J. Hargrove
  • 146AW
As the holiday season approaches, I have been busy preparing myself and my family for my upcoming deployment to the desert. While I am gone for these few months, Col Greg Jones will be the acting wing commander. We also have many deployers from Ops, Maintenance and AES who are going to be returning in the next few weeks. We are certainly proud of the jobs they all did over
there and we look forward to greeting them as they step off the plane here at the base, to send them home safely, and just in time to celebrate the holidays with their families.

Last month Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, our Adjutant General for the California National Guard, visited the 146th Airlift Wing. He visited with many of the troops here on base and outlined his  command philosophy for all of us. These principles are not new; in fact, they reinforce our Air Force core values. To that end, he says, it is imperative that we assess our current practices
and make adjustments where necessary in order to comply.

Below are the principles he spoke about. I encourage you to read through them again and share them with those who were not able to hear him speak when he was here. We should all strive to internalize these objectives and periodically re-evaluate to ensure the 146th Airlift Wing stays aligned with Gen. Baldwin's vision, and a commitment to our Air Force Core Values.

a. Commanders command 24/7/365. Every unit has a G-series commander
who has authorities and responsibilities that cannot be abrogated or
delegated. It is incumbent on all Airmen, regardless of status, to properly
coordinate actions through their chain of command and comply with orders.
Technician supervisors are charged with executing in accordance with
commander's intent and are responsible for keeping commanders informed.

b. Warrior Ethos. First and foremost, we are Minutemen with a proud
heritage of serving our State and Nation; responding when called upon by the
Governor or President to emergencies and other crises in our Community,
State and Homeland. As warfighters we have an obligation to remain prepared
and always ready to respond when duty calls.

c. Selfless Service. As military members, we are expected to uphold
the Air Force Core Values of: integrity first, service before self, and
excellence in all that we do. Unfortunately, our image has recently been
tarnished by some within the California National Guard who served with a
sense of indispensability and entitlement. Our credibility and public image
requires that we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

d. Accountability. We are responsible for complying with laws,
regulations, and instructions. As Soldiers and Airmen, we must be committed
to the fundamental value of doing the right thing.....even when no one is

e. Good stewards of resources. Our nation is struggling through a
period of financial hardship. We have a duty and obligation to apply sound
judgment and innovation to maintain mission readiness while optimizing

f. Soldier, Airmen and family care. As Airmen, our strength comes
from the mutual support we provide each other and our families during
missions, deployments and times of need. It is essential that we take care
of our people, so that they can remain focused on the mission.

g. No stiff arming. We must promote, and embrace a culture that
strives to solve problems in a timely and effective manner. Leaders are
charged with reducing obstacles, and providing the tools necessary to
accomplish the task at hand. When in doubt - elevate!

h. Train hard. Our missions are often accompanied by danger.
However, these risks can be mitigated by effective training and proficiency
in critical skills. We owe our Airmen realistic and relevant training
anytime the opportunity presents itself.

i. Tough, candid and truthful feedback. As commanders, we must
proactively solicit relevant feedback and constructive criticism from our
senior officers and NCO's. Additionally, Airmen have an obligation to
identify pertinent issues through their chain of command. We cannot improve
if we don't communicate!

j. Don't retain non-performers. We are minimally manned to
accomplish a highly specialized mission that requires everyone to be
effective. Individuals who are not competent jeopardize success, and
forfeits mission capability. Standards for performance and conduct are
clearly delineated in regulations and instructions. Commanders must identify
deficiencies, set expectations, and manage the force fairly and

k. Fly, Fight, Win. Commanders must deliver on the expectations of
our Airmen. The best way to take care of our Airmen is to Lead and Win at
whatever we set our sights on.

l. Future focus to remain relevant. Our strategic vision cannot be
deermined year-to-year. We must project out 5, 10, 15 and 20 years to
address the organizational changes required to remain relevant and capable
of responding to emergent missions.

m. Diversity. We must continue to recruit and develop a force that
is reflective of our community. Effective mission accomplishment is
strengthened by unity of purpose and respect for our differences.

n. Mentorship. Leaders should spend at least half their time
coaching, counseling, and developing their Airmen. The future force requires
proactive management of those individuals demonstrating the greatest
leadership potential.

o. Transparency. Our decisions and actions must be consistent and without
reproach or ulterior motives. Effective leaders execute decisions
consistently based on achieving mission success and the needs of the
organization. Every decision must be defensible in public.