Senior enlisted advisor for the National Guard visits wing
By Senior Airman Nathanial Taylor, 167 AW/PA
/ Published April 10, 2014
Martinsburg, W.Va. -- Chief Master Sgt. Mitch Brush, the senior enlisted advisor for the National Guard, visited the 167th Airlift Wing April 4-5 to speak to wing airman and address any possible issues that they may have.
During the visit, Brush spoke to Airmen concerning what is working and what isn't in order to get their perspective.
"Chief Brush represents the enlisted men and women of the National Guard as the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Grass," Said Master Sgt. David Martens, the 167th load master section scheduler. "He is the top enlisted man for the Army and Air National Guard."
According to Martens, who served as Brush's escort while he was on base, Brush showed during his visit that the biggest asset the guard has to offer, the Airmen and their families, are his main priority.
"It was impressive to see how Chief Brush interacts with people by talking to them and not at them," Martens said. "I saw that wanted to get to know people on more personal level, the stories of men and women of the 167th, why they joined, what he can do for them, and what he can take back to Gen. Grass to fix any issues people are having."
He knows what is working for the Airmen, what he wants to know is what isn't working for them, Martens said. He really wants young Airmen to step up and lead, whether they are in a direct supervisory position or not. He also emphasized the need for NCOs and SNCOs to train those beneath them to be better than they are.
But above all else, Brush wants members to tell their story to the community and show them what the Guard is and what it does for the community and the country, Martens said.
Brush met with Airmen and was very engaged with their issues, said Master Sgt. Derek Miller, a member of the 167th Safety Office.
"He was an excellent speaker" Miller said. "He was very in-tune with a lot of the issues that were going on in the Guard. He has a unique perspective being a senior enlisted member."
Adding, "It is nice to know that we have someone who is so well articulated and engaged representing our issues and concerns to Gen. Grass."
Miller was able to speak one-on-one with Brush during his visit to discuss career advancement and force development options.
Adding, "He seems like a great mentor, someone you can really look up to as an example to follow."
According to Brush, what matters to him is the people that make up the Guard and their families.
"Sometimes at the Pentagon we can tend to lose focus because it's all about budgets and money and planes, we don't always get opportunities to see the faces of real Guardsmen," Brush said. "When Gen. Grass brought me on board, one of the motivating things for hiring me was because I was still connected to the field as a traditional Guardsman for most of my career. It is important for us to remember that 70 percent of our force is traditional Guardsman."
Brush encourages any type of infrastructure or program that is designed to serve our force and make their life a little easier. He commended the wing's Save Our Shoppette (SOS) program and encouraged wing members to use services like the Shoppette in order to keep them relevant and feasible.
When asked what his general impression was of the base when he first arrived at the wing, Brush smiled and said "buildings are buildings, when we set up our tours to different states and we visit bases, the most important thing to me is to see what's inside the buildings, to see the people, the Airmen who work here."