HomeNewsArticle Display

Chief's Corner - September

Chief's Corner

Chief's Corner illustration. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Capt. Holli Nelson)


Hello, and thanks so much for taking a minute to read this month’s Chief’s Corner article!  We are going to be rotating writing this article amongst the 130th Chiefs starting this month. I would like to kick it off with a discussion about accountability. I wish to do so because it is at the heart of everything we do as individuals and Airmen every day. I have come to believe that our level of success depends directly on how we hold ourselves personally accountable.


The online definition I found for the word is “An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Seems pretty simple right? In the military we are disciplined from the moment we step off the bus at basic training to meet standards that seem unrealistic to the general public. Learning our military history, customs and courtesies, and drill and ceremony teaches us that we are held to strict standards.  These standards are unique to the military and we have to hold ourselves accountable to meet them. If we fail to do this we are also taught that our peers and superiors will not hesitate to remind us of those standards. Remember how silly having to fold or roll clothing seemed?


Reporting statements? Everything was done by a process and graded on a severe scale. It was by design and meant to evaluate your ability to pay strict attention to simple detail, while under pressure. All of the individual standards tie into the accountability we have to our fellow Airmen. If we don’t hold ourselves and each other accountable then we create an environment where failure to enforce standards in small things grow into larger problems. The best discipline is self-discipline, in things great and small.  When you tie it to the Air Force Core Values you can think of it like this. Integrity First, meaning do you hold yourself accountable to tell the truth and do the right thing even when no one is looking?  Service Before Self, meaning do you put the mission above your personal desires? Excellence In All We Do, meaning to be passionate about continuous improvement. Are you passionate about your place in the Air National Guard? Are you dedicated to improving both yourself as an Airman and the unit? It’s very obvious when an Airman is. It’s also obvious when they are not.


The gentleman who founded the West Virginia Air National Guard and served as its first commander is Brig. Gen. J. Kemp McLaughlin. The 130th AW’s base is named after him. Gen. McLaughlin served as a B-17 pilot during World War II in the mighty Eighth Air Force flying daylight bombing missions over Germany. The commitment and personal accountability required to climb back into those bombers repeatedly is hard to imagine. Airmen on those missions were initially only escorted to a certain point by fighters before they had to turn back for fuel. This left the bombers prone to German fighter attacks and thousands of Army Air Corp Airmen lost their lives or were shot down and captured.


These Airmen epitomized all of the character of our current or Core Values. Their level of personal accountability to the country they served and to the oath they swore are the foundation of what our Air Force and Air National Guard is today. Our roots at the 130th AW and the WVANG over all go back to a true hero. Gen. McLaughlin wrote a book about his experiences in the war titled “The mighty Eighth in WWII.” I highly encourage our Airmen to read it and can promise that it is extremely well written and not just a “dry” history book.


Self-examination and dedication to continuous improvement are foundational to success in life. Do you check yourself regularly and evaluate your commitment?  Do you hold yourself accountable to what the standard is and not what the rest of the “crowd” is doing?  Do you welcome a fellow Wingman correcting you when needed? Our service gives us clear expectations on what we should do to meet and hopefully exceed these standards. Personal accountability is apparent in an Airman no matter what their job may be, if they are dedicated to it. I am so proud to be a member of this wing and serve with all of you! I see examples of accountability on display every day demonstrated in the missions performed at home and all around the world. The pride is evident and well deserved. 


Please let me know what you think. Share your thoughts with leadership about how we can all work together to make it a little better as we pass it along to the next generation of Airmen. Thanks for all you do!


USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.