ANG command chief retires after 28 years of service
By Staff Sgt. John Hillier, Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
/ Published May 24, 2016
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
The command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard retired from the Air Force during a May 20 ceremony held at the ANG Readiness Center on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, the 11th command chief master sergeant of the ANG, retired from the Air Force after 28 years of service in the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, regular Air Force, and Coast Guard Reserve.
"It's an absolute privilege to serve that flag there - that American flag," said Hotaling. "This old glory owes us absolutely nothing, but I owe it everything. And I love that I am a servant to this nation."
Many of those whom Hotaling served with or under took part in the ceremony, and spoke about his character and devotion to enlisted Guard Airmen. Former Director, Air National Guard, retired Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke, who served as director during most of Hotaling's time as command chief spoke about how he was impressed with the selflessness of his service.
"Every time he came into my office, he never once talked about himself - Not once," said Clarke. "He never asked to do anything to glorify his position or advance himself. It was always about the Airmen and the Air National Guard. He always had the Airmen he served in his heart."
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody talked about how Hotaling treats everyone as part of the same team, and the role of a senior enlisted advisor.
"I want to share how great this team has been for our Air Force, because nothing gets done in the Air Force without a team," Cody said. "I've never once heard [Chief Hotaling] talk about a legacy. ... All he ever talked about was wanting to make it better for the ones who were coming after him - to make our Air Force better. It was never about the person in the position; it was always about what the position had the opportunity to do."
Hotaling's remarks centered on what it means to be a member of a warrior society, and the National Guard's heritage as modern-day minutemen.
"[Minutemen] dropped their plow, they picked up their musket and they moved out," said Hotaling. "I've had the privilege for the last three years to see our Airmen do just that every single day. You have college students, you have auto mechanics, you have owners of companies drop the tools of their trade, and pick up the musket for America. It is amazing what our Air National Guard is."
He also challenged Airmen to make the most of the time they are given.
"Everybody needs to live life like there is no tomorrow," he said. "Live your life with intensity. So on the day when you stand on this stage ... you want to hold your head up and say 'I gave it my all. For myself. For my family. For my co-workers. For my nation.'"