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November Chief's Perspective

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Hamilton, assigned to the 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Jan. 31, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Hamilton, assigned to the 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Jan. 31, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

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

A lot of us have always considered McEntire Joint National Guard Base (JNGB) as a part of our family. This is the place where we usually spend more time than we do with a lot of our own family members. Everyone has busy lives with jobs, school, hobbies, friends and even other business ventures. The hectic lifestyles we lead tend to pull us away from our fellow Swamp Fox teammates. I want to make sure we never lose the camaraderie that keeps many of us dedicated to the unit.

Everywhere we look during this election year there is another television commercial or unsolicited mail ad about the differences between competing political parties. This is another opportunity for our differences to be identified and for us to feel closer to some Swamp Fox members and further away from others. This could definitely be detrimental to our mission if we do not keep the proper prospective. There are two major reasons why we are employed at McEntire JNGB.

First, we have a mission to defend the United States of America. We have some of the best pilots and aircraft in the Air Force arsenal. To be combat ready, this takes every person doing their individual part of the mission effectively. Every member has to be proficient at all times to achieve this goal. Each member has to trust that every other team member is able to successfully execute their wartime duties. The Swamp Foxes have always deployed around the globe and have been in the fight for our nation’s defense. I have served with some of the most dedicated men and women in the Air Force. Not surprisingly, they are from our little base in Eastover, South Carolina.

Second, we have to be ready to answer the call from our governor. We have to perform all types of natural disaster support to help our fellow citizens of the state. We have to remember that our communities are counting on the Swamp Foxes to make things better for them and their families. In recent years, we have been called upon numerous times to help with massive floods and hurricane relief.  

We are from all backgrounds and walks of life, yet, we must have unity to ensure mission success of our Swamp Fox family. It does not matter how an individual looks. It does not matter if someone does not share your religious belief. It certainly does not matter if individuals agree on politics. What really matters is that we always treat everyone with dignity and respect. I would like to think that we all view this organization as a family. If that is not the case for some members, then we all have work to do. We must be open to listening to other ideas and ways to improve. Feedback is very important to this unit. The only way to get the needed feedback is free and open communication between all of us. We have to look out for each other and be ready to ask “How can I help?”

As members of the South Carolina Air National Guard, we have very important business to conduct on a daily basis. All team members are essential for our continued success. We have a major impact on our state and nation.