SPRINGFIELD, OH -- Chief Master Sgt. Maurice Williams, Air National Guard command chief, visited Airmen of the 178th Wing, October 15.
During his visit, Williams received a wing-specific mission overview and conducted a town hall for all enlisted members.
More than 150 Airmen gathered in the base dining facility for the informal town hall where Williams spoke about the National Defense Strategy and its four priorities of defending the homeland, deterring strategic attacks, deterring aggression, and building a resilient force. He went on to say how all Airmen pay a valuable role in our nation’s security, the importance of taking care of people and working together as a team.
“Less than one percent of the population of the United States wears this uniform,” Williams said. “We provide security for the other 99 percent of our nation. To keep us a superpower we need each one of you to be the best at your job.”
Williams said part of being the best is the ANG’s ability to work efficiently and effectively as a team.
Two key points Master Sgt. Benjamin Marshall, an intelligence operations specialist with the 178th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group took away from the town hall was understanding the ‘why’ behind what we do, as well as identifying our Airmen’s gifts and helping them operate within that gift.
“For the Chief to come to our base, in the middle of a cornfield, and speak to our Airmen was amazing,” Marshall said. “As a senior noncommissioned officer, if we explained the ‘why’ to our Airmen and helped them understand the significance of their skillset, we could help them excel ten-fold.”
“We must empower at the lowest level,” Williams said. “Empowering your people makes you a better leader.”
Technical Sgt. Tiffani Smallwood, a unit training manager assigned to the 178th Force Support Squadron took away some different points from the briefing.
“Chief Williams talked about three things to remember when working towards your goals,” Smallwood said. “One, investing in yourself. Two, monitoring your circle for an accountability partner. Three, embracing life’s journey.”
Smallwood said these three things are essential to self-improvement.
Williams reminded Airmen that is it up to each of them to be the best at what they do and think about how they can make things better.
“That’s the difference between successful and unsuccessful people,” Williams said. “The successful are willing to do that. The unsuccessful are not.”
Williams also spoke separately with the first sergeants, allowing them to have an open dialog with him.
“I’m thankful we had the opportunity to ask questions and voice our concerns,” said Master Sgt. Lisa Stork, 178th Wing Staff first sergeant. “There were things that were brought up that I am definitely going to follow up on.”
Stork said thinking outside the box with financial resources was the most impactful part of the discussion.
In addition to the town hall and tour, Chief Williams had the opportunity to have lunch with the local Airman of the Year winners and nominees, and met with the Enlisted Forces Working Group and Chiefs Council before departing.