Hotaling: Renew commitment to the' Profession of Arms'

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
The top enlisted Airman in the Air National Guard called on his fellow Airmen at Selfridge Air National Guard Base to re-focus themselves on their profession, during a trip to Michigan in March.

Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, the command chief of the Air National Guard, told the Airmen of the 127th Wing that they - along with all those serving across the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard - must re-dedicate themselves to the Profession of Arms.

"This is our business, being in the United States military," Hotaling said before a town hall gathering of several hundred enlisted Airmen in the 127th Wing. "People who wish to be in our profession must be adaptable and must renew their commitment to the Profession of Arms."

Moments earlier, the chief had asked the assembled Airmen to call out the marks of a professional. Shouts of "integrity, service before self, trained, educated, excellence," and words along similar themes came from all corners of the Selfridge Joint Military Dining Facility, where the meeting was held.

Hotaling's visit came during a time of some concern around the U.S. military, as national leaders are debating the future of various weapons and aircraft systems and how possible changes will affect manning levels at various locations around the Air Force.

Hotaling said the individual response to such uncertainty should be for each individual to become the best Airman he or she can possibly be, to be adaptable to the changes that lie ahead.

"When I came on this base, I saw your (Selfridge Military Air Museum) out by the front gate, where there are about three dozen different historic aircraft on display," he said. "That is a testament to the fact that over many years, the Airmen at Selfridge have adapted to a changing weapon system, but have always remained focused on the ultimate mission, the profession of arms."

During his town hall meeting, Hotaling highlighted how the Air Force has changed over the years, but that the need to be professional Airman is the one constant. The chief asked for a show of hands for the various decades in which the Airmen in the room had attended Basic Military Training - including at least one hand that went up for having attended in the 1970s - and then called up to the front of the room Airman 1st Class Stephanie Young, who only completed BMT a few months ago. Quizzing Young, Hotaling highlighted the differences and similarities in BMT yesterday and today.

Ultimately, Young said, the proudest moment of her BMT process came at the conclusion of the training.

"That was the day they first called us Airmen and we were really part of the Air Force," she said.

"Did that feel good?" the chief asked.

"It felt great. It was pretty emotional," replied Young, a member of the 127th Operations Support Squadron.

Hotaling then stressed that Airmen across the 127th Wing should remember that same feeling and pride to be an Airman that Young felt at the end of BMT.

"Keep that feeling. Keep that pride," Hotaling said. "That's what's going to motivate you to be the best Airman you can be."