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ANG welcomes new command chief

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The director of the Air National Guard welcomed the ANG's twelfth command chief master sergeant during a ceremony here June 2.

Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson stepped into his new role as the Guard's top enlisted leader, taking over from Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, who retired in May.

"The words escape me to express the gratitude I have," said Anderson. "I'm excited about what the future brings, not only for our command team, but also for our Air National Guard. Thank you for this incredible opportunity."

ANG Director Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice talked about the qualities he looked for in a command chief and said that Anderson was the picture of professionalism in leadership.

"Respect for who and what we all are as the Air National Guard is what Chief Anderson is going to bring forward," said Rice. "We are going to work hand in hand and we're going to take the Air National Guard to the next step."

Anderson also discussed a recent visit he made with Rice to Fort McHenry, where "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written, and how the song encapsulates the Guard's purpose.

"We're all familiar with 'land of the free and home of the brave,'" said Anderson. "But, I hadn't heard this part before: 'O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand / Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.'

"One-third of the force that guarded Fort McHenry were militia," he said. "They were our forefathers as National Guardsmen. And they were doing pretty much what we do today as Air National Guardsmen: we serve at home to protect the things we love here."

As the ANG command chief master sergeant, Anderson represents the highest level of enlisted leadership in the Air National Guard. He is responsible for matters influencing the health, morale and welfare of assigned enlisted personnel and their families.