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May Chief's Perspective

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Stovall
  • National Guard Bureau

BLUF…this article will be very candid and probably somewhat unconventional. It’s my Statutory Tour experience/perspective over the past 2 years coupled with words of encouragement. It may be added value for you or someone you know. 

Every Air National Guard member should either visit, go on a temporary duty (TDY), and/or pull a STAT or Active Duty for Operational Support tour at the Air National Guard Readiness Center or at one of the STAT tour locations (National Campaign Region, Tennessee, Texas, or Colorado). My ANGRC STAT tour has been fun, frustrating, exciting, challenging, victorious, ever-changing, and there’s even been some setbacks. The one constant has been change and all that comes with its demands. Convenience of excuse is NEVER an option. The comforting fact of not being back at home state, wing, or unit level quickly becomes a reality. My recommended short list to best prepare for an ANGRC tour is:

(1) Be sharp - “Whole Person Concept” stuff (Profession of Arms, AFI 36-2618, AFI 1-1, Enlisted Evaluation System/Airman Comprehensive Assessment, Enlisted Performance Reviews, etc)
(2) Know and do your job in outstanding fashion
(3) Be flexible and continue developing yourself both personally and professionally

Physical Training testing is high-vis and is taken very seriously. Failure in this area will hurt your career in many ways. My recommendation in addition to your routine regiment would be 4 - 5 months prior to testing, run 2 miles, do pushups and sit-ups 4 – 5 days a week at a minimum, and manage your diet and alcohol (if applicable) intake. Given all of the above, the ANGRC mission, through support, is to organize, equip, and train field units to meet mission requirements. We are here to take care of and support the field units…bottom line. Everyday should be dedicated toward that mission. Anything less is unacceptable. 

Additional professional development opportunities (ie sitting on hiring boards, augmenting the Senior Enlisted Leadership Management Office, Military Vacancy Announcements, Force Development, various ADOS duties, Profession of Arms Center of Excellence, Training and Education Center, Leadership Foundry (Leadership Challenge Program 1 and LCP 2), online courses, EANGUS, Human Resource Training and Professional Development courses etc.) will also be available to you. 

All of the above could be categorized as philosophical technicalities, but what really prepares or pushes people through the toughest challenges and issues here at ANGRC or otherwise is ATTITUDE.  Don’t be defeated despite the circumstance(s). Use adversity as fuel for doing better and what’s right.  Validate your existence through results. Embrace a no-fail attitude. Determination and perseverance will take you places beyond your talent or ability, but it sometimes takes above average courage and confidence to get there. Your “why” or will to succeed has to outweigh your shortcomings. Understand and apply what I call the “EOD” principle. Which simply means to “Embrace” your dreams or goals and believe in them; then “Own” them by internalizing those beliefs; once you internalize your beliefs - you will “Defend” them unilaterally, unequivocally, and unapologetically - with the strongest conviction and passion. And that’s when things will change for you.

And last, always remember that whatever is done at ANGRC, people identify it and you by what state you’re from. So either you will make our state proud or not. South Carolina has a near impeccable record and outstanding reputation. People take notice when you say you’re a Swamp Fox or a South Carolina Guardsman. We are highly regarded and it’s all our responsibility to maintain that level of respect through our dedication, hard work, and professional behavior. Go Hard – Finish Strong! People First, Mission Always! Have a great Guard