New command chief shares priorities, philosophy

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Mark Barber
  • 315th Airlift Wing command chief

Greetings 315th Airlift Wing! I am Chief Master Sgt. Mark Barber, your new command chief.

Let me begin by saying that I am honored and extremely humbled by this opportunity. In addition to providing the commander with the enlisted perspective on a number of different issues, I am responsible for ensuring the wing's mission, vision; priorities and commander's intent are communicated and executed. However, make no mistake, I am here to serve you--our greatest strength and resource. As your command chief, I have no greater responsibility toward ensuring mission success than taking care of our Airmen and their families. To that end, I pledge to everyone that I will give you my very best and fullest support in the accomplishment of our mission.  I look forward to working closely with each of you as we meet the challenges in the coming months and years.

One of my first priorities will be the formation of our very own 315th AW Top 3 Council. Next, we'll plan on doing the same for a 315th AW Rising 6 Council. Your enlisted councils are led by highly motivated and dedicated professionals who want to make a real difference in the lives of our Airmen. These councils are in need of your time and talents. Therefore, please consider getting involved (or becoming more active) with our present Chief's Group, present First Sergeant's Council, future Top 3 Council and future Rising 6 Council.

My leadership philosophy is pretty simple: Lead with your head, listen to your heart and respect everyone. Leading with your head is acting consistently with your core values and taking responsibility for personal choices. Listening to your heart is having passion, purpose and paying attention to that inner voice. Respect for everyone means treating people with fairness, dignity, and respect while expecting others to do the same.

I expect our SNCO leaders and supervisors to provide clear guidance, enforce standards and mentor junior enlisted Airmen and NCOs. Therefore, one of the primary responsibilities of SNCOs is to ensure that NCOs are provided the training, equipment, and facilities needed to successfully execute the mission. As our Air Force becomes more jointly connected and smaller, SNCOs hold positions with increasing levels of responsibilities and trust. Let us not forget, our nation trusts and expects us to take care of its sons and daughters, to treat them right and to train them properly in carrying out the mission as safely as possible. Hence, as SNCOs, we need to ensure that all Airmen have a voice, feel relevant and understand the big picture. We must provide them with clear guidance and direction.

I expect our NCOs to continue to grow and develop as leaders, supervisors, managers and mentors, while continuing to develop competencies in preparation for increased responsibilities. Additionally, they must continue to meet, and strive to exceed, the standards and expectations levied upon junior enlisted Airmen. NCOs need to lead by example  exhibiting professional behavior, military bearing, respect for authority and the highest standards of dress and appearance. NCOs must take ownership of those they have been given the honor to lead ensuring their Airmen are properly trained and held accountable for mission accomplishment. The key for the NCOs is to create and maintain an environment for our Airmen to thrive and grow.

I expect our junior enlisted Airmen to be trained, qualified, ready and prepared to carry out our wing's mission. Further, it is expected they broaden their technical skills and pursue both on and off-duty educational opportunities.  I want each of you to remember how critical you are to this wing and the Air Force, as a whole. Everyone matters, everyone's job is essential and everyone in the Air Force is a leader, regardless of rank.

Last, but certainly not least--our families. Without question, military families have sacrificed much toward the development and success of their Air Force spouses, and deserve to be a priority in our lives. Clearly, a correlation between family readiness and mission readiness exists. The strength and resilience of our family members is vital to enhancing readiness and provides critical support as we carry out our wing's mission. So don't wait another day, make it a point to thank your families for their unwavering support and sacrifices. Having said that, I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my own family and thank my wife Pamela and two sons, Tyler and Alex, who have supported me every step of the way.

Further, I would also like to formally acknowledge the contributions of our departing Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Gigi Manning. Gigi, of behalf of the entire 315th AW, I want to thank you for a "job well-done" and wish you all the best in your retirement.

Again, let me say how excited I am to be your command chief. It is indeed an honor to serve alongside each and every one of you. I look forward to making a difference in your lives and in this wing.

315th AW Facebook   315th AW on  Instagram    315th AW on YouTube   Dvids   Behind the Wing Podcast