Taking care of people takes care of business

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Stephen C. Bailey
  • 301st Fighter Wing
Chief Master Sgt. Jack Mills has always been known as a person who sets high goals, then reaches them. Now he takes his achievements one step further as he begins serving as the 301st Fighter Wing’s top enlisted advisor.
     Primarily focused on making sure the wing’s enlisted corps is well-equipped to handle mission and personally-related issues, the chief will also work to make sure the wing’s families are never left behind.
     “The wing already does a great job helping families in adjusting to deployments, but I want us to do even more to make sure they know we care and we will make every effort to support them while their loved ones are away,” Chief Mills explained. “We need to take care of our wingman and the wingman’s loved ones as well.”                                         
     Stepping into the shoes of his friend and mentor, retired Chief Master Sgt. Bradley Scott, Chief Mills applauds what Chief Scott accomplished as Command Master Chief and will work to build upon these successes.
     “Actually, since being selected, there has been a healthy amount of worry on my part because you don’t know what you don’t know. These are some big shoes I’m trying to fill following Chief Scott who did an amazing job for everyone in the wing.”
     But the chief is no stranger to big tasks. He previously served as the 301st Aerospace Medicine Squadron’s first sergeant where he was primarily involved in daily mission activities. He worked specifically to ensure unit members had what they needed to do the job.
     “I experienced firsthand there that when you take care of the people they take care of the mission. I believe the same will be true throughout the wing as we continue to build upon this principle.”
     It was key principles like this that helped the chief early in his career. Building upon his desire to learn the job and advance, Chief Mills quickly excelled as a supervisor and mentor, making technical sergeant at the eight-year mark. He left active duty to pursue a civilian career, only to return two years later to the Texas Air National Guard in 1989. He then transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 1991 while beginning a civilian career with General Dynamics.
     As he commuted from Texas to his reserve unit at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., now as chief of explosives safety, he seemed content to complete his career at 20 years and be done when he decided to cross-train into the medical career field. Shortly thereafter, he was offered a first sergeant’s position here in Texas.
     “As I think about it, I may not be here at all if I had just been content to do what I was doing -- but I’m really glad I took the opportunity to become a first sergeant here in the 301st. I have met and worked with some of the greatest people in the world,” Chief Mills said.
     For now, the Command Master Chief is excited about the future and what the wing will accomplish.
     “I will work immediately to build stronger bonds with commanders so I can present the enlisted issues I hear about everyday while communicating with the great men and women of the 301st.”
     According to the chief, his philosophy is simple: It’s more effective to walk alongside of people rather than trying to push or pull them. Also, it’s easier to lead people when you first understand where they are, then you can help them to get where they want to go.    
     “I want to make sure people realize how important they are and help ensure they are recognized for their hard work and dedication. This is vital to overall unit effectiveness,” said Chief Mills. “We are a great wing, and I hope to help make it even better – I appreciate everyone’s confidence in me, providing me this great opportunity to serve.”
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