MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
Command Chief Master Sgt. David Stevens relinquished responsibility as the wing’s command chief to Chief Master Sgt. Troy Brawner, April 7, in a ceremony held at the minuteman statue near the 167th Airlift Wing’s main gate.
Stevens is now the command chief for the West Virginia Air National Guard.
As the wing’s eighth command chief, Brawner is now the principal advisor to the wing commander on matters of health, welfare and morale, professional development, and the effective utilization of more than 900 enlisted Airmen.
Brawner has been a member of the 167th AW since 1989, starting his career as an air transportation specialist. He worked in various capacities within the aerial port and small air terminal before serving as the superintendent for the 167th Mission Support Group from 2016 to 2018. Prior to his selection as command chief, he was the chief of operations for the deployment and distribution flight for the 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
Brawner has also worked for Volvo Trucks in Hagerstown, Md., for 21 years holding numerous managerial and engineering positions and specializing in lean manufacturing.
“My career has taught me a great deal about how to lead people. I’ve had both good and not so good experiences that have stuck with me and shaped me professionally,” Brawner said about his civilian career experience.
Brawner said he is part of a forward-thinking organization that expects out-of-the-box thinking and he intends to carry that mindset with him as the command chief.
Ensuring Airmen are trained and equipped to do their jobs and taking care of those Airmen along with their families are among his top priorities.
His other initiatives include improving the wing’s enlisted performance reports completion rate, expanding the force development program, increasing community involvement and reducing what he refers to as “momentum loss” between drills.
Brawner explained for drill status guardsmen, it takes some time to get an understanding of what the priorities are at the beginning of each drill weekend.
“No sooner are we hitting on all cylinders and that momentum stops abruptly at 1600 on Sunday. Members are on their way home and for the most that switch is turned off until the next Saturday drill 0730 where it all starts over again,” he explained. “I can’t help but think there is something we can do to minimize this loss of momentum.”
Brawner said he has some ideas to combat momentum loss and suspects other unit members have ideas that he would like to hear.
For Brawner, preparation for this top enlisted position started with making education a priority. He made a point to stay on schedule or ahead of his professional military education. He also has associate, bachelor and master’s degrees under his belt.
Brawner said he looked for opportunities to go on temporary duty assignments and deployments throughout his career. He has deployed five time in his career, most recently to Afghanistan in 2011.
“You have to get excited about your career. You have to own your career. Most importantly you have to enjoy the time you are doing all of these things,” he said.
The new command chief said he looks forward to meeting each and every member and their families.
“Don’t hesitate to stop by my office and introduce yourself or simply stop me in passing,” Brawner said. “I am honored to be your command chief. Everything I do, my focus will be to help make our wing the very best it can be.”