Changing of the Guard

April 2013 --      We have another changing of the guard; two-fold. On 4 February 2013, CMSgt James A. Hotaling (pronounced HO-tailing, not Hot-a-ling like I was originally pronouncing it) began service as our 11th Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard (ANG). And on 22 March 2013, Lt Gen Stanley E. Clarke III assumed responsibility as the 15th Director of the ANG. Both most recently served at Continental U.S. North America Aerospace Defense Command (CONR) - 1st Air Force (1AF) (AFNORTH) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, where Lt Gen Clarke was the Commander and Chief Hotaling was his Command Chief.     

     Lt Gen Clarke was an Alabama Air Guardsman who served as assistant adjutant general for air, and an A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot who commanded a squadron, wing and expeditionary wing. As a command pilot, he flew more than 4000 hours, including more than 100 combat hours.     

     Chief Hotaling began his career as a Special Tactics Combat Controller, serving ten years on active duty in various assignments. After a small break in service, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as a Port Security Specialist. Chief Hotaling rejoined the Air Force as a reservist Combat Controller in the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program. He then joined the Oregon ANG and served as an Air Traffic Control Squadron Operations Superintendent, a Special Tactics Squadron Chief Enlisted Manager, a Combat Operations Group Senior Enlisted Advisor and a Fighter Wing Command Chief.    

     Chief Hotaling has three key areas on which he wants to focus. The first is renewing our commitment to the profession of arms. We have to deliberately develop ourselves, to include supervision, training and Professional Military Education (PME) opportunities. The second is health of our force to include Resilience, and Airmen and Family Readiness programs. The third is recognizing our accomplishments. We need to tell our story and we need to recognize our great Airmen.    

     To learn more about both of our two new leaders, I encourage you to visit the ANG website at http://www.ang.af.mil. There you will find a wealth of information to include links to the Director ANG (DANG) page and the ANG Command Chief Master Sergeant (CCM) page. You will also find a link to a video on the ANG CCM Key Focus Areas.   

     I look forward to meeting both Lt Gen Clarke and Chief Hotaling, and working with them in leading our ANG forward. These are very challenging times for us, as well as both of our ANG's newest senior leaders.