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January Chief's Perspective

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Audrey Boatwright, with the 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base,  March 10, 2017.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Audrey Boatwright, with the 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, March 10, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

It all started when I observed my dad, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Joe L. Buford, put on his U.S. Navy uniform. The military bug bit me and it was only a few years later that I became a Swamp Fox. He was my first example of a leader. What do you look for in leadership and how does it influence your actions?

It was a beautiful day and our Capstone assessment was upon us. Again, McEntire made the grade. So, when we look back at the results of our hard labor, do we swell up with pride? The Airmen made me proud as a leader and I began to think of my previous influences and how I may have inspired others. It is imperative we take our role seriously and keep focused on all obligatory mission necessities. We found the lack of self-assessments to be the area needing improvements in my section. Therefore, our solution is to go onward building self-assessments as a resilient area in our unit, while utilizing all necessary resources conceivable.

As leaders, we will define the course for improvements using the Self-Assessment Program (SAP). SAPs will allow us to be more effective Airmen. Leadership is defined in many ways and the different styles have different impacts. John C. Maxwell defines leadership as, “having the genuine willingness and true commitment to lead others to achieve a common vision and goals through positive influence.” All leadership should influence teamwork, which is essential for success. Every Airman contributes toward the mission and strives for organizational excellence. If we give our personal best, we can motivate each other. As the Profession of Arms states, “We Serve the Greatest Air Force in the World; We Meet the World-Class Standards.” Even though there are many types of leaders, a variety of leadership styles are demonstrated in each individual. Normally, bringing out the best. As leaders, we present different strategies for getting the job done.

Leaders set the tone. We reward those for a job well accomplished and encourage others to do better. There is a need in most individuals to make someone proud of them. Whether its parents, pastors or commanders, most of us want to present our best. I found myself responding like a proud parent during the Capstone. While watching the Airmen perform, my thoughts reflected on the fact that someone influenced their career, their actions and their desire to do their best. This experience was delightful because over the 29 years I’ve spent in the military, I could see the impact that someone had in these Airmen’s lives. A good grade is achieved by performing set standards over time. Continued standard-meeting performances, as displayed during the Capstone, can only result in future success.

We all should look forward to improving and continuing to make the South Carolina Air National Guard the best ever. Even though time is less for some than others, thanks to those who have poured their life into getting us where we are today and supporting so many families along the way. Stay EFFECTIVE as a unit and meet the required standards of the U.S. Air Force. It guarantees future success! Our future holds AFI 90-201, allowing for EFFECTIVE Self-Assessment Programs along with Management Internal Control Toolset (MICT). In my final note, I would like to quote Winston Churchill, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

Happy New Year!