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NEWS | May 14, 2014

Senior enlisted Air National Guard leaders gather for Chief's Huddle

By Master Sgt. Marvin R. Preston Air National Guard Readiness Center

VOLK FIELD COMBAT READINESS TRAINING CENTER, Wis.- Air National Guard Command chief master sergeants and other senior enlisted leaders met to discuss issues and challenges facing the ANG during the annual Command Chief's Huddle here Sunday and Monday.

The theme of this year's meeting was "Observe, Orient, Decide, Act." It was hosted by Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, the command chief of the Air National Guard.

"Observe, Orient, Decide, Act" or "O.O.D.A Loop" as it is more commonly called, was coined by Air Force Col. John Boyd, an Air Force F-86 Sabre pilot and commander of a fighter group during the latter part of the Korean War. Boyd believed that when at a disadvantage a competent pilot could still overcome that disadvantage by "attacking the mind" of his opponent. His observations led him to a greater understanding of human reaction time.

During the past year, the ANG's senior enlisted leaders have observed the organization's posture and readiness, have oriented the ANG to adapt to the changing conditions within the total force, and through the Command Chief's Huddle, will decide and act on those observations.

"Coming here and being among the other command chiefs is a great networking opportunity to learn what other states are doing and share our stories," said Chief Master Sgt. Neville Lee, command chief from the U.S. Virgin Islands ANG. "Chief Hotaling and the great speakers here are giving us a lot to help us develop our new leaders for the future."

Hotaling discussed the importance of acting on issues from past meetings and opened the conference with the same statement from a year ago.

"There is no greater time in history than now, right now when we need strong leadership in our Air National Guard", said Hotaling. "As the ANG's most senior enlisted leaders, you must lead through these times, there's nobody else. We need to embrace this moment in history."

This year's Command Chief's Huddle focused on answering those questions from a year ago, arming the command chiefs with the tools needed to be better leaders and resolving issues, currently affecting the total force.

"Being here and getting this information from the presenters and our peers is invaluable," said Chief Master Sgt. Trevor Slater from 110th Airlift Wing, Battle Creek, Michigan. "Changes coming down the road will save our Airmen valuable time throughout the year."

Senior enlisted leaders in attendance also gained a better understanding of national issues. Meeting attendees will return home to share the ANG vision with the 91,000 enlisted Air Guards members they represent.

Hotaling stressed the importance of professional development opportunities such as the Command Chief's Huddle to the audience and the fate that led them to highest enlisted rank they hold.

"I talk about fate because I believe it's true and 20-30 years ago when we were all Airmen, you had no idea you'd be here right now," Hotaling said. "Through the most turbulent times in the United States Air Force's history, 65 years of history, fate placed you here so take advantage of it. Our Airmen expect the very best and we're not going to fail them."

The Command Chief's Huddle brings together more than 150 command chief master sergeants and other senior enlisted leaders from 89 Air National Guard wings and units, representing 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia to openly discuss a wide range of issues and challenges facing the ANG.

Hotaling, the eleventh ANG command chief, 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.