The Magazine of the NJ National Guard
volume 32 number 1

Guardlife Index

A Word From The Chief: The Little Books And Professionalism
By New Jersey Command Chief Master Sergeant Paul M. Gunning
CMS Gunning
Looking back over the past 30 months as your Command Chief Master Sergeant, I am somewhat amazed of you - our Airmen!

Your accomplishments are endless; you received outstanding and excellent on inspections, completed all missions flawlessly and safely, volunteered for AEF's and other deployments throughout the world, and helped other Americans during the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief efforts. You performed above and beyond even when no one was watching.

You have garnered numerous national awards and you represent the best of our Citizen-Airmen. I believe there are two books that have contributed to your becoming the Professional Airmen that you are in our great New Jersey Air National Guard.

The first is the Little Brown Book or Air Force Instruction 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure. This book defines our enlisted force structure, establishes enlisted leadership and development levels, specifies responsibilities of each rank, and establishes mandatory responsibilities for enlisted members. This little book is a must read for all enlisted Airmen as it is the enlisted force that defines us as Airmen, rather than merely technical specialists in a very large organization. Please see your First Sergeant if you do not have a copy.

Second is the Little Blue Book or the United States Air Force Core Values. This book explains our values of Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. The Core Values are much more than minimum standards. They remind us what it takes to get the mission completed and in a professional and safe manner. Retired Chief of Staff, General Ronald Fogleman states in the Little Blue Book, "The Air Force is not a social actions agency. It is not an employment agency..The Air Force exists to fight and win wars - that's our core expertise. It's what allows us to be called professionals. We're entrusted with the security of our nation. The tools of our trade are lethal, and we engage in operations that involve risk to human life and untold national treasures. Because of what we do our standards must be higher than those of society at large. The American public expects it of us and properly so. In the end, we earn the respect and trust of the American people because of the integrity we demonstrate." As Professional Airmen, we all must understand our Core Values, follow them, and encourage others to do the same.

Let me tell you about some of our great professional Airmen in the New Jersey Air Guard. These Airmen are leaders in their organizations and have been selected for state and national recognition based on leadership and performance, significant self improvement, and their base and community involvement. New Jersey's nominees for the Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2005 were: Chief Master Sgt. Michael R. Francis from the 177th Security Forces Squadron, Staff Sgt. Francis A. Spence, 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron and Senior Airman Jeffrey A. Bock, from the 108th Security Forces Squadron. In addition, Senior Master Sgt. Paul J. Kasica from the 108th Civil Engineering Squadron is our Base Honor Guard Program nominee and Senior Master Sgt. Howard R. Dawson from the 177th Civil Engineering Squadron is our nominee for the ANG First Sergeant of the Year. Finally, we were just informed that Master Sgt. Michael J. Rakauckas of the 108th Security Forces Squadron has been selected as the ANG Security Forces Senior NCO of the Year. Congratulations to Master Sgt. Rakauckas and the rest of the nominees for their professional performance as Airmen serving in the New Jersey Air National Guard!

In closing, I want to thank all of the Professional Airmen serving our great state and nation and please thank your family and your employers for their support of you. Please take the time to refer to the Little Books on a regular basis as a reminder of the awesome responsibility which we all have as Airmen.
(c) 2006 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs